No trick! Stay visible and safe on Halloween

By Senior Airman Shanell Granger
75th Security Forces Squadron
October 20, 2011

Everyone needs to take extra care on Halloween, Oct. 31, when excited children in costumes are out in force. Motorists need to be extra careful during trick or treat hours, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., and parents should review safety rules with their children. The 75th Security Forces Squadron members will X-ray and examine candy for all Hill trick or treaters as part of its annual Pumpkin Patrol on Halloween night. Parents or guardians can bring their children's candy to the Youth Center, Building 883 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Some additional safety tips, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council, include:

Motorists

Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully. Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They're excited and not paying attention.

At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Never drink and drive, on Halloween or any other night. If you're drinking alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver.

Parents

Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their trick or treat activities. Teach children to "stop, look and listen" before they cross the street. Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on clothing or costumes to be more visible to motorists. Be certain that any mask doesn't obstruct vision or hearing and ensure that costumes don't impede walking or driving ability.

Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow.

Know the names of older children's companions.

Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route. Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never enter a stranger's home. Establish a return time if you have older siblings accompanying them and not going yourself.

Give children an early meal before going out. Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten. It is highly recommended not to eat fruit that is given out and "when in doubt throw it out."

Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.

Pedestrians

Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming.

Continue to check for traffic while on the street.

Walk; never run from house to house or when crossing the road.

Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.

When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars.

Obey all pedestrian signals.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Costumes

Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.

Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.

If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made of light colored materials. Stripes of reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Since masks can obstruct a child's vision, facial make-up is recommended instead. When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives, "Labatory Tested," "Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics" or "Non Toxic." Follow the manufacturer's instruction for application.

If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Don't allow children to carry sharp objects.

Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light colored or trimmed with reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark. Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

For more information please contact the 75th Security Forces Police Services Section, Staff Sgt. Ashley Williams at 801-777-7133 or Senior Airman Shanell Granger at 801-586-1212.

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