Tips And Treats
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween, Oct. 31, the eve of All Saints' Day, observed with traditional games and customs. The word comes from medieval England's All Hallows' eve (Old Eng. hallow=saint).
However, many of these customs predate Christianity, going back to Celtic practices associated with Nov. 1the beginning of winter and the Celtic new year. Witches and other evil spirits were believed to roam the earth on this evening, playing tricks on human beings to mark the season of diminishing sunlight. Bonfires were lit, offerings were made of dainty foods and sweets, and people would disguise themselves as one of the roaming spirits, to avoid demonic persecution. Survivals of these early practices can be found in countries of Celtic influence today, such as the United States where children go from door to door in costumes demanding trick or treat.
Last Updated - 20th September 2005
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
- Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
- Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.
- Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
- Plan ahead to use only battery powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
- This is also a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home Smoke Alarms.
- Teach children their home phone number and how to call their local emergency number if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that the emergency number can be dialed free from any phone.
- Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll", should their clothes catch on fire.
- Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.
- Consider purchasing individually packaged healthy food alternatives (or safe non-food treats) for those who visit your home.
- Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
- Learn or review CPR skills to aid someone who is choking or having a heart attack.
Consider safe party guidelines when hosting an Adult or Office Party.
- Find a special event or start one in your own neighborhood.
- Community Centers, Shopping Malls and Houses of Worship may have organized festivities.
- Share the fun by arranging a visit to a Retirement Home or Senior Center.
- Create an alliance with College Fraternities, Sororities or Service Clubs for children's face painting or a carnival.
BEFORE NIGHTFALL ON HALLOWEEN:
- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects, and do not block exit doors.
- While children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O' Lantern, leave the carving to adults.
- Always keep Jack O' Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
- Plan and review with your children the route and behavior which is acceptable to you.
- Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
- Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home.
- Along with flashlights for all, older children and escorts should wear a wristwatch and carry coins for non-emergency phone calls.
- Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.
- Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.
Adult partygoers should establish and reward a designated driver.
- A Parent or responsible Adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
- Remind Trick-or-Treaters: By using a flashlight, they can see and be seen by others.
- Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.
- Only trick-or-treat in well known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
- Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
- Always walk. Never run across a street.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom).
- Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
- Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will.
- Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.
- No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an Adult at home.
- Law Enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible Adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
- Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.
- Halloween can be fun and festive for people, but for pets it can also be dangerous. Here are some tips from the AVMA to help you ensure that your pet has a happy and safe Halloween...
- Don't leave your pet outside unattended on Halloween (or on the days preceding or following this holiday). Halloween pranks committed against pets can be vicious, and black cats are particularly at risk.
- Halloween treats are for people, not pets. Candy wrappers and lollipop sticks can be hazardous if swallowed and chocolate can be poisonous for some types of pets.
- Keep pumpkins out of reach of curious noses and paws. Pets may knock over a lit pumpkin and cause a fire.
- Despite how much fun it is for people, many pets don't enjoy getting dressed up for Halloween.
- If you do dress your pet, be sure that its costume doesn't interfere with the pet's ability to breathe, see, hear, move, or bark.
- Consider keeping your pet in a separate room, away from the door, when trick-or-treaters arrive. Strange people in even stranger clothes can frighten some pets.
- When you do answer the door for visitors, make sure that your pet doesn't suddenly head for the great outdoors. In case your pet does escape, make sure that it is wearing proper identification. Pets with identification are much more likely to be returned to their owners.
- For more information and tips about holiday safety for pets, call or visit your family veterinarian. Remember, your veterinarian is your very best source for advice on keeping your pet safe, healthy, and happy!
Halloween Special for Kids and Parents
Painting your face can be a big part of the fun on Halloween and lots of other special occasions. Most of the time people do this without a problem, but not always. Here are some pointers to help keep your fun from leaving you with a rash, swollen eyelids, or other grief.
Painting Your Face:
- Special Effects Without Aftereffects
- Decorating your face with face paint or other makeup lets you see better than you can if you're wearing a mask. A mask can make it hard to see where you're going and watch out for cars. But make sure your painted-on designs don't cause problems of their own.
Follow all directions carefully.
- Don't decorate your face with things that aren't intended for your skin.
- Like soap, some things are OK on your skin, but not in your eyes. Some face paint or other makeup may say on the label that it is not for use near the eyes. Believe this, even if the label has a picture of people wearing it near their eyes. Be careful to keep makeup from getting into your eyes.
- Even products intended for use near your eyes can sometimes irritate your skin if you use too much. Take it easy!
- If you're decorating your skin with something you've never used before, you might try a dab of it on your arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction BEFORE you put it on your face. This is an especially smart thing to do if you tend to have allergies.
- A big part of Halloween makeup is color. But this is your skin we're talking about. Think about what you're putting on it. You might not want to put the same coloring on your skin that a car company uses in its paint.
When the Party's Over...
- Don't go to bed with your makeup on. Wearing it too long might irritate your skin, and bits of makeup can flake off or smear and get into your eyes, not to mention mess up your pillow and annoy your parents.
- How you take the stuff off is as important as how you put it on. Remove it the way the label says. If it says to remove it with cold cream, use cold cream. If it says to remove it with soap and water, use soap and water. If it says to remove it with eye makeup remover, use eye makeup remover. You get the picture. The same goes for removing glue, like the stuff that holds on fake beards.
- And remember, the skin around your eyes is delicate. Remove makeup gently.
- Now, go have a good time, and a safe one.
- But Just in Case...
- What if you followed all these steps and still had a bad reaction? Your parents may want to call a doctor.
Disclaimer: The Halloween Safety Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Tips And Treats . com and/or its partners.
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