Halloween is a traditional children's night for "trick or treat", ghosts and goblins, haunts and horrors, but the West Covina Fire Department cautions parents to think about safety to make this an enjoyable event and avert potential accidents.
Every Halloween many children suffer from auto accidents, fire injuries, falls, cuts, bruises and poisoned "treats". Risky Roadway
Children become careless from excitement and may run into the road. Dusk is the time for poorest visibility for drivers. Dangerous Dress
Loose costumes, bulky trick-or-treat bags, unsafe shoes, masks which reduce vision, sharp or pointed toy weapons and dark, hard to see costumes should be avoided. Frightful Flames
Although Federal Law requires children's costumes to be flame retardant, parents are advised to read all costume labels carefully to insure the adequacy of flame retardant materials.
Candles and open flame devices pose a real fire threat. The Fire Department urges the use of battery operated appliances if lanterns are to be carried or used in the home.
In case of costume fire, the Fire Department provides the following pointers:
- Don't run, as this will only fan the flames.
- Act quickly to smother the flames by having the person roll on the ground preferably using a rug, blanket or clothing to smother the flames.
- Seek immediate treatment for all burns, with special care given to prevent contamination by the use of sterile covering.
Some horrors parents should look for include razor blades in apples; tacks in popcorn; needles and/or pins in candy and poisoned popcorn.
Guidelines suggested for parents include knowing what route the child will be following and what companions they will have. Groups should be of the same age level and no more than four (4) persons to a group. An adult or responsible older child should accompany young children. It is best not to call at the homes of strangers or to go into any house. And most importantly, decide what time the child will be home.
- Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten
- Fruit should be washed and cut into small pieces to make sure nothing has been placed inside.
- Unpackaged items such as popcorn or small candles or loose or torn wrapping on candy should be DISCARDED.
- If you should discover anything wrong with the "treats" brought home...report it to the Police so that other parents may be warned and the people responsible caught.