Red Cross urges safe scary fun
By Lisa Brown
Halloween has emerged as one of the most popular holidays celebrated in the United States. In neighborhoods throughout the country, youngsters and adults alike will don costumes on Sunday, October 31 to prowl the streets in search of sweet treats and spooky encounters. The Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross encourages children and their parents to follow these simple rules and enjoy a Halloween that is safe, as well as fun.
Dress the part! Make sure you can be seen by incorporating light colors or reflective fabrics into costumes and carry a flashlight to light the way. Avoid contact with open fires and candles, as most Halloween costumes are extremely flammable. Face paint is much safer than a mask and will not impede your vision.
Plan ahead! Make sure family members know the route you are taking and when you plan to return. It’s a great idea to make sure someone in your group is carrying a cell phone just in case of emergency. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly; your costume may look great but you won’t have much fun if your teeth are chattering.
Stay connected! Never trick-or-treat alone and always stay with your group. Encourage little ones to hold the hand of an older buddy. It’s best to have at least one adult make the rounds with youngsters. Make sure everyone is accounted for before heading home for the night.
Travel smart! Stay on sidewalks and look both ways before crossing the street. Be sure to cross only at corners and never hide between parked cars. Avoid streets that are not well lit. If making the rounds by car, be sure to exit and enter the car only on the curb side.
Play it safe! Visit neighborhoods that are familiar and only approach homes with the porch light on. Never enter a stranger’s house or accept treats from strangers you pass on the street. Avoid houses where a dog is “on guard” and don’t pet strays – a dog bite could put a quick end to your fun.
Check it twice! Have a grownup inspect all treats before children eat them. Don’t eat any candy if the package is already open. Small, hard pieces of candy can be a choking hazard for young children, so be sure to stash goodies out of reach.
Have fun! There are many activities and celebrations that take place on or around October 31. Consider planning your Halloween fun in conjunction with a community or neighborhood event and have a ghoulish good time!