Halloween safety tips

  • Oct. 28, 2011 11:00 a.m.

BE SEEN – Wear bright costumes or clothing made of flame-resistant material with reflective tape, or carry light sticks or a flashlight-it’s important that motorists can see you clearly. Make eye contact with motorists. Consider trick-or-treating in a group and staying together. Don’t forget to: stop, look left, right and left again-before crossing the street. Always cross the street at corners and crosswalks. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk beside the road or street facing traffic.CAN YOU SEE CLEARLY? – Face painting is often a safer choice for trick-or-treaters than a mask which can obscure vision. Stay on sidewalks and driveways and off of lawns and gardens. Go up one side of the street and down the other rather than crossing the street between houses. Avoid alleys, parking lots, wooded areas and vacant lots.DRESS APPROPRIATELY – To prevent falls, make sure your child’s costume fits well and it isn’t too long or has too much loose fabric. Dress for the weather, so your child and you are comfortable and warm.ADULT SUPERVISION – Young children should always have a responsible adult escorting them door-to-door. Skip houses that don’t have their porch lights on, and avoid animals that are unfamiliar.PUMPKIN CARVING – Kids under six should not use knives or sharp instruments to carve pumpkins. Instead, they can be creative and draw a face on the pumpkin, or dress it up with colourful fall leaves or other safe materials. Parents should use a flashlight or a light stick to light a pumpkin rather than a candle. Children are attracted to candles, but they don’t understand flames are hot and can cause serious harm.CHECK TREATS THOROUGHLY – Parents and children should make sure all treats are checked by an adult before eating. Discard treats that aren’t in sealed packaging or look suspicious. When in doubt, throw it out!CHOKING – Choking occurs most frequently among children under two, but can happen at any age. Do not give children under five years of age popcorn, hard candy, nuts, or rubber balloons. When eating candy, parents should have children sit at a table since eating while playing, running, jumping, or talking can lead to a choking episode. Parents and caregivers should learn what to do in a choking emergency, including the Choking Rescue Procedure (Heimlich Manoeuvre), because the correct response can save a child’s life. Information is available through HealthLink BC at http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/special/chkng.html#aa111963. FIREWORKS – To be safest, plan family fun and activities that don’t include fireworks. Children should never hold lit fireworks-a sparkler can burn as hot as 700 degrees Celsius and will not go out even when doused in water. Parents should check with their municipality or district as fireworks may be banned or specific permits may be required. If you insist on using fireworks, purchase them from a reliable source, and always read and follow the label directions. Thirty percent of injuries are caused by illegal or homemade fireworks. Keep water or appropriate fire extinguisher nearby when lighting fireworks. Parents and older children should watch the video “Just a firework, two buddies and a bomb” available through the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund website atwww.burnfund.org/our_programs/burn_education/2-BAAB.php.SLOW DOWN, WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS – Motorists are advised to slow down and drive with extra caution this Halloween. Children are easily distracted and difficult to see in dark costumes, particularly if they run out between parked cars.ROLE MODEL – Be a good role model for your children: act safely and responsibly this Halloween!

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