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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Avoiding Halloween Horrors --- EEK!!!

Halloween is a great holiday for both young & old to celebrate together. It can be exciting and entertaining, but it also requires responsibility to keep it safe. Safety needs range from decorations to costumes to the candy children collect door-to-door. There’s never a dull moment with Halloween, but even though spooks are part of the tradition it doesn’t have to be a dangerous holiday!

When decorating for Halloween (or any holiday for that matter) you want to be sure of the following:
-When using a ladder or climbing on your roof to decorate, make sure that you are secure and that your ladder is stable. Do not work on this project alone.
-When using candles in your macabre decorations, make sure candles are fully extinguished when you plan to leave this unsupervised.
-Only use electrical lights that have been tested for safety and check each set of lights for broken sockets, frayed or bare wires, loose connections or other damage. Do not use damaged lights. Make sure lights are approved for outdoor use.
-Never exceed 3 strands of lights on an extension chord.
-Never string electrical lighting on metal items as the metal can become charged with electricity.
-Make sure that all electrical decorations are checked for safety and displayed according to the directions of the item including but not limited to if it is acceptable for outdoor use.
-Make sure all hanging decorations are secured to avoid falling and injuring people or property.

When costuming for Halloween here are some valuable tips:
-Be sure costumes fit correctly to avoid trips, slips and falls.
-Make sure eye holes in masks are large enough to avoid blocking any vision.
-Note that flame resistant costumes are safer>
-Do not wear decorative contact lenses without seeking advice from an eye care professional first.
-If the costume is dark, make sure reflective tape or vest is added so that you or your child can be seen in the dark to avoid any accidents.
-Test face paint before applying to be sure there isn’t a reaction and be sure to wash off all face paint completely at the end of the evening.

And, of course, there are many issues with taking candy from strangers but here are a few suggestions that will help you:
-Don’t allow children to snack on their treats until after trick-or-treating is complete
-Give all contents of their treats a full inspection and anything that is unwrapped or in a suspicious wrapping should be discarded
-Discard any commercially wrapped candy that appears to have been tampered with (such as discoloration, pin holes, tears)
-Check with your local Police Department to see if your city is offering free security scans of candy
-Avoid home made treats unless they are from trusted friends or family
-Inspect any toys given for hidden dangers and wash toys before use
-Inspect any fruits given thoroughly for pin holes, discoloration or other signs of tampering

Always remember when trick-or-treating to stay in a group, carry flash lights and make sure all members of the group are accounted for from house to house. Halloween is a fun time to enjoy family and friends for all ages. Follow these safety tips and don’t be haunted by Halloween horrors!

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Thanks to Susan Monti for her words of wisdom!