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HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
330 OLD NISKAYUNA ROAD
LATHAM, NY 12110-2224
While most people think of this season as a time for fun and treats for children, Halloween-related injuries do occur. Such injuries can be prevented if parents closely supervise school-aged children during trick-or-treat activities.
Make this year's holiday a safe one by following these safety tips.
Halloween-related injuries often involve burns from flammable costumes and decorations, including ignition from open flames, such as candles and jack o’ lanterns. Other accidents occur due to abrasions from sharp objects attached to masks or costumes.
Parents should be sure to look for fabrics labeled “flame resistant” or choose flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester when purchasing or making costumes, masks, beards and wigs. Flame-resistant fabrics 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. Additionally, be cautious of long draped items that could cause an entanglement hazard.
Both children and adults need to give real attention to safety on this annual day of make-believe. With a little extra thought and planning, you can make sure that all children have fun and safe outings on Halloween. When preparing children to trick-or-treat, please be sure to:
It is a good idea for children to eat a good meal before trick or treating so that they don't fill up on holiday treats. Candy should not be sampled until children are home so their parents can first sort and check treats.
It is rare for candy to be tampered with at Halloween, however, it is a good idea for parents to inspect the candy to make sure that each piece is individually wrapped and safely sealed. If the candy is not wrapped or looks suspicious, it is better to just throw it away. Finally, candy that can cause choking in very young children should be discarded or given to older children.
Parents or Caregivers should carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by tick-or-treaters under 3 years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use. Many of these items have warning labels. If you're unsure about an item, parents can buy a child safety choke tube that functions as a small parts tester. A choke tube is designed to be about the same diameter as a child's windpipe. If an object fits inside of the tube tester, then it is too small to be within reach of a young child. Choke tubes can be found in children's specialty stores.
By taking some precautions, families can ensure that their Halloween will be both spooky and safe.