• Halloween Safety

Halloween represents a time of fun and festivity. Candy corn, costumed kids and carved pumpkins set the scene. Follow these simple tips to make sure your Cinderella or Frankenstein does not get spooked by holiday dangers:

  • Only permit trick-or-treating at the homes of friends and neighbors you know well.

  • When purchasing costumes and accessories, buy only those marked "flame retardant" or "flame resistant".

  • Avoid costumes made of long, flowing material and accessories that can move or blow over open flames.

  • Choose costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible. Apply reflective tape to the front and back of costumes to help motorists see your child.

  • Avoid costumes that block your child's vision and increase the risk of a fall.

  • Be sure that costume accessories, such as knives and swords, are made of soft, flexible material.

  • To keep vision clear, consider using face paint instead of a mask.

  • Give your child a flashlight to light the way and signal drivers of his or her presence. Never carry candles, torches or other open flames as part of a costume.

  • Examine all treats thoroughly before allowing children to eat them.

  • Throw away open treats, those not in their original wrapping and homemade goodies from unknown sources.

  • Slice open fruit to check for foreign objects.

  • Contact the Poison Control Center Hotline if you believe your child has consumed anything hazardous. The national hotline number is 1-800-222-1222. Notify local police of any suspicious candy.

  • Young children should never help carve a pumpkin. As an alternative, decorate pumpkins with markers, paint or stickers.

  • When hosting trick-or-treaters at your home, keep these safety tips in mind:
  • Do not use candles when decorating porches to prevent costumes from catching fire. Light jack-o-lanterns with small flashlights instead of candles.

  • Provide bright walkway and porch lighting to help prevent falls.

  • Offer treats wrapped in their original packages.

  • If you decorate your home with candles, keep them well away from crepe paper, leaves and other flammable objects. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room.


  • Enjoy Fireworks Safely

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2003 an estimated 9,700 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. More than half the injuries were burns and most involved the hands, eyes and head and 50 percent of the victims were children under age 15.

As the July 4th holiday approaches, families are urged to enjoy fireworks the safer way, by attending locally sanctioned fireworks shows presented by professionals who adhere to safety codes.

Fireworks are not toys, they are devices designed to reach high temperatures, to burn and spark, and to explode and launch. They are unpredictable by nature and too dangerous for nonprofessional users.

Dr. Gary Smith, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Research Institute in Ohio conducted a 22-year study* of fireworks injuries treated in emergency rooms. What he found may help you understand the risk. Here is a sampling:

  • 67 percent of sparkler-related injuries were among children 5 years or younger

  • 70 percent of patients treated for all fireworks injuries were male

  • Adult supervision was present in 54 percent of the cases

  • The eyes were injured in nearly one-third of the cases

  • The average age of patients was eight and ½ years

Although many states permit fireworks use by consumers, only trained and experienced experts should use or transport fireworks.

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