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OUR VIEW: Have a spooky ... and safe Halloween

THE ISSUE: Avoid Halloween mishaps and accidents

OUR VIEW: Follow these common-sense tips

With Halloween around the corner, parents are likely seeing a growing giddiness in children eagerly awaiting trick-or-treating.

While it's fun, even as an adult, to get caught up in the spooky day, parents and candy-givers also should take a little time to help prevent mishaps and accidents as children prance door-to-door collecting goodies.

The American Red Cross offers tips on staying safe and preventing accidents. While most are common sense, it doesn't hurt to keep these in the back of your mind as trick-or-treat hours near.

The Red Cross also has a fun, interactive app specifically designed for children to learn, practice and share information on how to stay safe in emergencies. Monster Guard: Preparing for Emergencies is an exciting way to become prepared for any Halloween mishap or everyday crisis year-round. Users learn skills like building a preparedness kit and making a plan to help them react quickly and confidently in an emergency.

In preparation, the Red Cross offers the following tips to help make this Halloween safe.

TRICK-OR-TREAT

  • Look for flame-resistant costumes.
  • Plan the 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 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.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For more information and to download Monster Guard: Preparing for Emergencies” and other apps like the Red Cross First Aid App, visit redcross.org/apps to learn life-saving skills for common, everyday first aid emergencies.

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