Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried corn stalks adorning front porches – these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike. While this is an exciting time for children, unfortunately there are many hazards that are associated with Halloween! Therefore, make trick-or-treating safe by following a few easy safety tips when it comes to decorations, costumes, and the most important element of Halloween, candy!
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs, candles, and heaters.
- Whether indoors or outside, use only decorative light strands that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Make sure to check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard all damaged sets.
- When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags also should be light-colored with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
- Though it may be tempting, make sure children do not eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.
- Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters who are younger than 3 years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use.
On behalf of Amarillo Area’s Office of Emergency Management, we wish you a safe and fun Halloween!