Various agencies and organizations want children to be safe when they’re trick-or-treating. Here is information from three organizations in Springfield.
From Mercy Springfield Communities:
Halloween is known as a scary holiday, but usually not for the right reason. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than other day of the year.
To keep your little goblins safe, be sure to follow these tips from Safe Kids Springfield, which is led by Mercy Injury Prevention:
• Walk on sidewalks and cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.
• Wear light-colored, flame-retardant costumes decorated with retro-reflective tape or stickers.
• Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls.
• Only trick-or-treat in family areas that are well-lit.
• Carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility to drivers.
• Trick-or-treat in a group; under age 10 should be with an adult.
• Wear face paint and makeup rather than a mask that can restrict vision.
For those who are staying in, be sure to choose battery-operated candles and lights instead of flame candles.
Safe Kids Springfield is a member of Safe Kids USA, a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14. For more safety tips, visit Safe Kids Springfield at http://www.safekidsspringfield.org.
From Springfield Fire Department:
Each year, dozens of children are injured on Halloween nationwide. The Springfield Fire Department hopes to reduce these numbers by sharing some simple safety tips:
• Buy costumes and wigs labeled "flame resistant." Stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
• Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
• It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
• Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
• Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, cover their face and roll if their clothing catches fire.
Fire-related injuries are not the only concern on Halloween. Because they may be walking on the street after dusk, children should be aware of pedestrian safety, too:
• Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
• Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
• Always walk, don't run from house to house
• Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
• Stay on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Look for cars when walking by a driveway.
• Never accept rides from strangers.
All 12 Springfield Fire Stations will be open this Halloween from 6pm until 8pm. Feel free to bring the kids by to say hello and meet your neighborhood fire crew. For more tips, visit the our website at www.springfieldmo.gov/fire. From the Springfield Fire Department, have a safe and happy Halloween!
From American Red Cross:
With Halloween right around the corner, the American Red Cross would like everyone to stay safe when they don their costumes and go out to Trick-or-Treat. Halloween’s greatest hazards aren’t vampires and villains, but falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents, so the Red Cross is offering the following tips to help make this Halloween safe:
• Look for flame-resistant costumes.
• Plan the Trick-or-Treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.
• Make sure the Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen.
• Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
• Instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, consider using face paint.
• Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
• Be cautious around pets and any other animals.
WELCOMING GHOSTS AND GOBLINS
If someone is welcoming Trick-or-treaters at their home, they should make sure the outdoor light is on. Other safety steps include:
• Sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps.
• Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
• Restrain any household pets.
• Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.