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Halloween Safety

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Is your home and family ready for the spooky holiday? Halloween is a time when safety is important inside and outside the home. As homes are decorated for Halloween, steps need to be taken to keep homes safe from fire or other hazards. It may seem like everyone is aware of the common things one should teach children and what should be done to have a safe Halloween but there are still many accidents, fires and deaths due to carelessness or just not paying attention to the surroundings and taking the simple steps needed to be safe.

Safety tips to have a safe Halloween include:

* Prepare you home for Trick or Treaters. Clear all side walks and driveways of obstacles that may cause an accident or someone to fall.

* Leave an outside light on if you wish to have Trick or Treaters stop.

* Remove items that may be triggers for vandalism or tricks, such as garbage cans, etc.

* Choose battery candles to light carved pumpkins rather than real candles.

* Choose flame resistant costumes.

* Use face paints in place of masks. If children choose to use masks be sure they don't obstruct their view when walking.

* Carry a flashlight and/or wear reflective clothes or put reflective tape on so motorists can see the children.

* Make sure costumes fit well especially with young children to avoid tripping and falling. Attach your child's name, address, and phone number somewhere inside the costume.

* Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult when Trick or Treating.

* Do not cut across yards. Use sidewalks and driveways. If there are not sidewalks walk facing traffic.

* Cross streets at corners, do not cut between parked cars.

* Watch for cars backing out of or turning into driveways.

* Plan your route and choose well lit streets.

* Remind children to only stop at house that are inviting and have lights on.

* Children should wait until they get home to eat candy.

* When choosing treats to handout, choose wrapped candies or foods. Also consider other items such as pencils, etc.

* Remind children to say Thank You when receiving treats.

* When decorating the home inside or out with string of lights, check them for cracked or broken wires. Limit the number of strings strung together.

* If using candles, never leave unattended.

Stains can be a not so fun leftover of Halloween. The stains from face paint, makeup, hair gel and lipstick can all be treated with a prewash stain remover and then laundered in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Make sure the stains are removed before putting the garment in the dryer. The heat from the dryer may permanently set the stain. Treat stains with a stain stick or stain-removal wipe if they will not be laundered right away as this will hold the item for several days.

Remember safety when having fun this Halloween.


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(This resource was added October 2012 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
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