2007-10-12 / Community

Trick-Or-Treat Safety Tips For Goblins Of All Ages

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are four times more likely to be hit by a moving vehicle, such as a car, motorcycle, SUV or truck, on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

This year, Halloween falls on Wednesday, October 31.

Thousands of children and young adults will be walking around local neighborhoods during the late afternoon and after sunset.

While trick-or-treating has the potential to be scary and dangerous at times, these guidelines provided by the American Red Cross in Greater New York, can help goblins and ghosts of all ages enjoy their Halloween, safely. Tips to Teach Children: • Plan your route and share it with your family. If

possible, have an adult go with you.

• Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in

the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the

left side of the road, facing traffic.

• Look both ways before crossing the street to

check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.

• Cross the street only at corners, not in the middle

of the block; stay together in a group before

crossing. • Never hide or cross the street between parked


• Wear light-colored or reflective clothing so that

you are more visible. (And remember to put reflective

tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)

• Use face paint rather than masks or big floppy

hats that will cover your eyes.

• Don't wear long, baggy, or loose costumes or

extra-large shoes- you could trip and fall! • Carry a flashlight to light your way. • Keep away from open fires and candles.

(Costumes can be extremely flammable.) If a costume

catches fire, STOP, DROP, and ROLL. • Only visit well-lit homes that have a porch light


• Accept treats at the door; never go into a

stranger's house or apartment. • Be cautious of animals and strangers. • Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating


• Don't eat candy if the package has already been

opened. Tips for parents: • Establish a route in a well-known neighborhood

and discuss it with your kids.

• Review Halloween safety precautions with children,

including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.

• Accompany children under age 12- either you,

another responsible adult, or an older youth.

• Remember that masks can restrict peripheral

vision and hearing. • Choose a firm return time. • Make sure children know their phone numbers

and carry coins for emergency telephone calls.

• Purchase fire retardant/fireproof costumes.

Check the tag/label on the costume to make sure. • Make sure your older children are carrying ID. • Have children use flexible costume knives and

swords, not ones that are rigid and sharp.

• Ask children to bring treats home before eating t

hem so that you can inspect them.

• Call your local poison control center if you believe

your child has eaten something tainted.

• Flush eyes with cool water should face paint,

glitter, or shaving cream get into eyes.

• Prepare for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches,

lawns, and sidewalks and placing jack-o-lanterns

out of reach.

• When carving pumpkins, use stable, flat surfaces

with good lighting. Tips for drivers: • Slow down in residential neighborhoods (drive

at least five miles under the speed limit) to give yourself time to react to the excited trick-or-treaters who might dart into the street, especially midblock or from between parked cars.

• Broaden your visual scanning- look to your

right and left, into front yards and onto porches.

• Watch carefully for small superheroes, vampires

and goblins in dark costumes walking on the

roads, medians, and curbs; they can be hard to

see, after dark. • Use caution when exiting driveways and alleyways.

• Turn on your vehicle's headlights, even during

the day. They make you more visible.

The Red Cross urges all adults to be prepared to respond to emergencies on Halloween and during the rest of the year by enrolling in first aid, CPR, and other safety classes.

For more information about Red Cross classes in New York City, and the counties of Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Sullivan, call 1-877-733-2767, or visit www.nyredcross.org.

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