The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and goblins. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. In the United States, the first official citywide Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minnesota, in 1921.
Today, many of the young and young-at-heart take a more light-spirited approach. Glowing skeletons and lighted Jack O' Lanterns decorate homes, while children dressed in all kinds of costumes begin flocking out onto neighborhood streets in search of treats. Make this year's holiday extra safe by following these safety tips on costumes, treats, decorations and more!
I have made of a list of 32 Safety Tips to have a fun but safe Halloween.
· When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
· Purchase or make costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.
· 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 or sacks also should be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.
· Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
· Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls.
· Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.
· Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing vision.
· Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible materials.
· Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
· Children should not snack while they're out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they get home and parents have had a chance to inspect the handouts. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go-don't send them out on an empty stomach.
· Tell children not to accept-and, especially, not to eat-anything that isn't commercially wrapped.
· When children bring their treats home, discard any homemade candy or baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
· Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
· Children should not enter homes unless they are accompanied by an adult.
· Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
· If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make sure it is pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful bacteria. Juice or cider that has not been treated will say so on the label.
· Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters. Indoors, keep candles and Jack O' Lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire. Do not leave burning candles unattended.
· Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.
· Don't overload extension cords.
· Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater. Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
· Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
· All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street.
· Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments or furniture present dangers.
· Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
· Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun but they need to know the other side as well-clean up and damages can ruin Halloween. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they've made.
· Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
· Make sure you set a time that they should be home. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.
· Discuss with your older children the importance of respecting other people’s property. Vandalism; throwing eggs or busting pumpkins into someone’s home or automobile can cause them to be arrested and/or cited and having to appear in court. Plus, parents may have to reimburse the courts and the owners of the property to take care of repainting of a house or automobile. This can be an expensive fine imposed by the courts.
· HAVE FUN BUT BE SAFE!
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