October 27, 2005
Safety precautions should be at the top of the list for Halloween trick-or-treaters to remember, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Children will be walking through neighborhoods the day after daylight savings time ends, with an hour less of daylight in the evening. Most young children are not accustomed to walking at night, especially when wearing long, ill-fitting or over-sized costumes, according to DSHS.
DSHS offers these safety tips for children:
- Look left, right and left again for cars and trucks before crossing the street. Walk on sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Don't hide behind cars or cross the street from between parked cars; go to a corner.
- Never accept rides from strangers or take treats from someone who's in a car or truck.
- Use a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Wear light-colored costumes with reflective strips. Be sure costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
- Use face paint rather than a mask or hood that covers your eyes.
- Stay away from lighted candles, matches and open fires.
- Be careful around animals. Even pets you know may be scared by costumes and loud noises.
- Trick-or-treat only at houses where you know people and then only if the porch light is on.
- Don't eat any treats until they are checked by an adult.
DSHS offers these safety suggestions for adults:
- Accompany trick-or-treaters age 12 and under.
- Be sure children carry only soft, flexible knives, swords or other props.
- Set a time for older children to be home. Know the route they will take.
- Never let a child go trick-or-treating alone. Be sure at least two buddies go together.
- Remove breakable items or obstacles such as ladders, tools and toys from your yard.
- Keep jack-o'-lanterns and lighted candles away from costumes or paper decorations.
- If you are driving children around for trick-or-treating, be sure they get in and out of the car on the curb side of the car, away from traffic.
- Do not wear a Halloween mask while driving.
(News Media: for more information contact Emily Palmer, Assistant DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)