Trick or treating safety tips from CPSC

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Holidays, Health & Safety: Babies

painted pumpkinHalloween is supposed to be a little scary, but nobody wants a frightening trip to the emergency room on the big night. To help you avoid that, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to remind parents that there are hidden dangers in the spooky fun and offer up some safety tips to keep in mind.

According to the CPSC, the most serious Halloween-related injuries involve burns -- from flammable costumes and decorations that ignite from open flames such as candles and Jack O'Lanterns.

"Our major concern is still the use of home-made costumes that are not flame resistant," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "Parents making their children's costumes should use inherently flame-resistant fabrics, such as nylon and polyester. Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls."

Read on for more tips for having a safe Halloween.

Costume Safety Tips
  • When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." This type of fabric will resist burning and should extinguish quickly should it come in contact with a flame. To minimize the risk of such contact, avoid avoid flimsy costumes with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
  • Brightly colored costumes are safer because they are easier for motorist to spot on a dark street.
  • Trimming costumes with reflective tape (available at hardware, bike and sporting goods stores) will also help your little trick-or-treater stand out in the dark. The tape can also be applied to their candy bags.
  • If your child is going to be out after dark, make sure to bring along a flashlight.
  • Shoes should fit well and have low heels.
  • To avoid obstructing vision, tie hats and scarves securely, make sure masks fit properly and have eye holes large enough to allow full vision.
  • Any pointy accessories (knives, swords, wands), should be made of soft, flexible materials.
Treat Safety Tips
  • Instruct your children to not eat any treats until they have been examined by an adult.
  • Take a good look at any toys or novelty items received by kids under three to make sure they are free of small parts or other potential choking hazards.
Decorations Safety Tips
  • Don't put candles or lit Jack O' Lanterns near landings and doorsteps where a child's costume might brush up against a flame.
  • Inside, keep those lit candles away from curtains and other combustibles that could catch fire. Do not leave burning candles unattended.
  • Make sure your lawn, steps and porch are free from obstacles that might trip up a trick-or-treater.
  • If you went all out with your decorating and have lights sets plugged in, make sure they have been safety tested and have no broken or cracked sockets or frayed or bare wires. Also, don't overload extension cords.
Now, get out there and get some candy!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.