● By Rick McGarry
It's a good idea to take a few minutes to think about safety as Halloween approaches. Here are some suggestions from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Never let children carve pumpkins for themselves. Try painting pumpkins for a fun, creative option that removes the risks of carving.
Be considerate of fire hazards when lighting jack-o-lantern candles or use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights.
Halloween costumes should be light and bright, so children are clearly visible to motorists and other pedestrians. Trim costumes and bags with reflective tape that glows in the dark.
Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. Be sure the child’s vision is unobstructed from masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, so trim or hem their costumes as necessary.
Children should wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
It is important that children walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. They should also obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating and remember that these pets can impose a threat when you approach their home.
What kinds of unsafe Halloween practices have you observed?