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Halloween safety tips

by Mark Smith, staff writer

   

Halloween is a favorite holiday of many people. Its also a holiday that receives special attention because violent acts towards children have been committed on Halloween in the past.

Whether you plan to pass out candy, take children trick or treating, or visit the scene in Waikiki, here are some tips to help make this Halloween fun and safe:

 

Parents
When purchasing costumes for your children, be sure that the costume is made of a flame-retardant material. Make sure the costume fits before you rent or purchase or you may find yourself making last minute alterations. Attaching reflective material to the costume is always good. Also, instead of masks, you may want to consider face paint. If you decide to go with masks, however, consider enlarging the eyeholes as needed to improve your childs range of vision.

Before sending your children out for the night, have a pre-planned route to follow. This will make it easier to find someone if they get separated from the group. If your children are too young to go out alone, make sure they have a responsible adult or older child to accompany them. Teach your children to obey traffic signals and crosswalks. Also teach your children what they should do if approached by strangers. As always, when the night draws to a close, examine your childs loot carefully and discard any suspicious looking items.

One HPU mother actually throws away her childrens candy and replaces it with candy she purchased herself. I feel that not all people are trustworthy, said Reenie Young, mother of two. I dont want to take the risk of being the one who has something bad happen to my children.

Drivers
With so much going on it will easy for children to become distracted. If you have to drive on Halloween, be on the lookout for children crossing the street and running from between parked cars. Its also wise to drive a few miles under the speed limit in residential areas.

Passing out candy
If you plan to pass out candy, it is clever to take a few safety precautions prior to the start of the Halloween festivities. Check ahead of time and be sure your yard is free of any potential hazards such as lawn care utensils, a loose hose, or anything else a child could trip on. Instead of using actual candles in jack o lanterns, consider light sticks or battery-operated candles. Remember to leave a porch light on if you plan on participating in Halloween. When handing out treats, stick to pre-packaged candy. Gift certificates and coins are also a safe alternative and reassuring to concerned parents.

Alternatives
There are always other things for people to do to celebrate a safe Halloween. For children, many churches and youth groups plan special indoor events. Check the newspapers and community bulletins for more information.

For the older crowd, Waikiki is a popular place to go. Here you can see thousands of people parading the streets in different costumes. If you decide to go this route, common sense is the key to safety.

When celebrating Halloween this year, remember that fun and safety go hand-in-hand (www.honolulupd.org).

 
 

 

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