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Halloween Safety for your Children

Halloween Safety for your Children

It is that time of year again for Halloween fun. With the holiday falling on a weekend and a good weather forecast, people will more than likely turn out in record numbers. Check your local town ordinances to confirm the recommended trick-or-treat times as well as respect your neighbors. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following safety tips:

COSTUME SAFETY

· 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.

· Masks can limit or block eyesight, so consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.

· When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.

· If a sword, cane or stick is part of the costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long.

· Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

· Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from any eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as "one size fits all," or "no need to see an eye specialist," obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.

· Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

ON THE TRICK OR TREAT TRAIL

· A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their rounds.

· If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.

· Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

· Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:

o Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.

o Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.

o Carry a cellphone for quick communication.

o Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.

o If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

o Never cut across yards or use alleys.

o Only cross the street as a group in marked crosswalks (or unmarked crosswalks as recognized by law). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.

o 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!

o Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

The article on Halloween Safety for your Children and other tips may be viewed in its entirely by visiting www.aap.org. From all the attorneys and staff at O'Malley Tunstall, have fun and stay safe this Halloween holiday!

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