ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE,Ga. --
Being safe, and keeping children safe during Halloween isn’t difficult; it just means planning ahead to avoid problems later. Do a little thinking before any costume parties or trick-or-treating, and you will be able to relax and enjoy the holiday and festivities without any stress.
Halloween Costume Safety
Inspect costumes before buying them. When choosing a costume, stay away from long,, trailing fabric to avoid tripping. For infants and young children, ensure costumes don’t have choking hazards like buttons or decorations. Ensure masks have eye holes large enough to see clearly, and verify the costume has a label indicating it’s fire resistant. Teach children to stay away from open flames such as candles and jack-o-lanterns to avoid costumes catching fire. Have children practice “stop-drop-and-roll” by dropping to the ground, covering their face with their hands and rolling over and over to put out flames.
Obviously, as much fun as trick-or-treating can be, safety must come first. Youngsters should always be given a flashlight and, preferably, some sort of reflective device or tape attached to their costume while going door-to-door. Glow sticks can be attached to costumes as an extra precaution.
Children should travel in groups, use sidewalks where provided, hold hands and go with as many adult chaperones as possible. Don’t move from one house to the next until all children are accounted for. Make sure to watch the street at all times. Drivers should be on high alert Halloween night. Consider safe alternatives to trick-or-treating like a party or trick-or-treating at the mall.
Safe Halloween Decorating
The main thing to consider when planning your home décor is safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900 reported home fires each year (nfpa.org).” One common fire hazard is the traditional jack-o’-lantern. Instead of a candle, choose a battery-operated candle or glow stick. Dried flowers, cornstalks and hay bales catch fire quickly. Keep open flames and other heat sources like space heaters and light bulbs away from decorations. Ensure smoke alarms are tested prior to celebrations.
Keep exits well lit and free of obstructions. Fake skeletal arms reaching from the ground in front of tombstones may look cool, but in the wrong place they could become a tripping hazard. Fake spider webs can add haunted house appeal, but should be secured so it does not drape down and catch someone by the neck or feet.
For more information, call the Fire Prevention Office at DSN 468-2145 or 478- 926-2145.
– Courtesy Robins Fire Prevention Services and NFPA.org.