The National Safety Council urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween.
* Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
* Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
* Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
* At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
Before children start out on their "trick or treat" rounds, parents should:
* Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
* 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 to enter a stranger's home.
* Establish a return time.
* Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.
* Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
* 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.
* Only fire-retardant materials should be used for 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 with light colored materials. Strips of retroreflective tape should be used to make children visible.
* Masks can obstruct a child's vision. Use facial make-up instead.
* When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow 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. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
* Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
* Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
ON THE WAY
Children should understand and follow these rules:
* Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
* Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
* Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
* Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
To ensure a safe trick-or-treat outing, parents are urged to:
* Give children an early meal before going out.
* Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
* Wash fruit and slice into small pieces.
* When in doubt, throw it out.
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