LARGO, Md. (CBSDC) - With Halloween just days away, the Prince George’s County Fire Department has issued a few friendly safety reminders for parents looking to patrol their children candy-hunting through neighborhoods.
Spokesperson Mark Brady would like to remind residents that while trick-or-treating should be fun for children; all the excitement surrounding the festive event can increase the risk of fire, accident and injury.
Firefighters and paramedics urge residents to heed their warnings, adding that they witness countless incidents each year, which could have been prevented, had parents just kept a few safety rules in mind.
For instance, children are four and half times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night throughout the year. Fire Chief Marc Bashoor adds, “Remember safety first ensures everyone goes home.”
Please review the following safety tips before taking your children trick-or-treating:
- Costumes should be made of flame resistant light-colored fabric or have reflective qualities. They should be short enough so as not to interfere with walking or become entangled in bicycle chains. Use facial makeup rather than masks so children can see easily.
- Children should carry flashlights and not use candles or torches. Before leaving the home, children should discuss the proposed route, time of return, and companions. An adult should always accompany younger children. It is advisable to visit the homes of persons you know or local familiar neighborhoods, stopping at well-lit houses only. As a general rule, children should avoid entering homes or apartments and always travel with a companion.
- Children should avoid busy streets, always use sidewalks, and follow all traffic rules and regulations. Motorists should avoid all unnecessary travel on Halloween evening, and when driving they should drive slowly and be alert to small children crossing streets. Many accidents occur when motorists are backing vehicles out of driveways, unaware of the presence of small children.
- Halloween treats should be saved until children return home where adults can examine all items closely. Treats that are unwrapped, or show signs of having been opened, should not be eaten. Fruit should be sliced into small pieces and checked for foreign objects. Keep small pieces of candy away from infants and very small children, as they can easily become lodged in the throat and cause choking.
- Persons receiving trick-or-treaters should keep a light on and pick up obstacles that could cause a child to trip and become injured. Jack-o-lanterns should be kept clear of doorsteps and landings. Consider the possibility of using flashlights instead of candles to light Jack-o-lanterns. Keep dogs and other pets away from doors so children will not become frightened.
Also important to note, some pets may suffer stress from the extra foot traffic on Halloween, constant ringing of door bells and door-knocking, or simply the fear of a costumed child.