[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                   October 10, 2008

Halloween safety tips valid year-round

Many of the safety tips that allow children to observe Halloween safely also are applicable to help ensure their safety throughout the year, according to the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office (ISO).

One of the biggest concerns at night is visibility. Dusk is the time of poorest visibility for drivers.

Children who trick or treat or participate in other nighttime events are encouraged to do it during hours of daylight, if at all possible.

Children, as well as other personnel out at night, are encouraged to wear light-colored costumes or clothing that will make them easier to see. Using reflective tape or apparel also can help increase visibility.

Wearing comfortable-fitting clothing that is easy to walk in can help reduce falls or other accidents.

Using flashlights can help illuminate walking paths and also make pedestrians more visible to motorists.

Children and parents are encouraged to sit down together and talk about how to make Halloween and other nights safer. Adults or older, responsible youths should be available to supervise outings for children younger than 12-years-old.

Parents should know the routes of their children and also the names of older children’s companions.

Parents can pin a slip of paper with their child’s name, address and telephone number inside a pocket in case the youth gets separated from his or her group.

Children should travel only along established routes and on sidewalks whenever possible.

Crossing yards or lawns may present uneven terrain and unseen hazards that are potential tripping obstacles.

If youth have to walk in the roadway, they should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. A return time should be set. 

Children are encouraged to avoid darting out between parked cars, and walking on roadways, medians or curbs. Pedestrians should enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

Trick or treaters should stop only at houses or apartments that are well-lit and never enter a stranger’s home. Youngsters should be advised not to eat any treats until they return home.

All food treats that children receive should be brought home for inspection before they are eaten.

Parents are advised to check food for any potential hazards.

All fruit should be washed and cut into small pieces to ensure nothing has been placed inside. Unpacked items or items with loose or torn wrappings should be thrown out.

Halloween costumes should be made of nonflammable or flame-retardant materials.

Billowing costumes and flowing false-hair wigs are dangerous around candles or open flames.

Masks should have holes for the mouth and nose and especially big holes in the eye area. If possible, use makeup instead of wearing a mask.

Any accessories should be made from cardboard or other flexible materials, and children shouldn’t be allowed to carry sharp objects.

For more information about Halloween safety or other safety topics in the Fort McCoy community, call the ISO at (608) 388-3403 or visit the Fort McCoy Extranet site, which is available through the Fort McCoy public Web site at http://www.mccoy.army.mil, by clicking on the Safety Section.

(Compiled from information provided by the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office.)


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