WARWICK, RI — Halloween 2022 is shaping up to be a balancing act between letting the kids out to trick-or-treat and getting them safely home at a responsible hour because it’s a school night.
So what’s the best time to release little ghosts and ghouls for their spooky journey?
Home security company Vivint this year released a list of sunset times on Halloween across the U.S. so parents can get their youngsters home before nightfall or set them loose after dark.
Providence is number 5 on the list of earliest sunsets, at 5:42 p.m. on Oct. 31, according to Vivent, just behind Manchester, NH (5:41) and Boston, MA (5:40).
Monday’s forecast is for cloudy skies with a chance of rain after the witching hour (midnight) and temps in the mid-50s, so visibility should be good for walkers and drivers.
And with the potential for a lot of Halloween activity this year, it’s a good time to review safety tips from the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the AAA.
RIPCA offered the following tips for Halloween costume safety, based on information provided by the FDA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Wear costumes that say “flame resistant” on the label. If you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon.
- Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so you’ll be more visible; make sure the costumes aren’t so long that you’re in danger of tripping.
- Wear makeup and hats rather than costume masks that can obscure your vision.
- Test the makeup you plan to use in advance. Put a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it. If a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, that’s a sign of a possible allergy.
- Vibrantly colored makeup is popular at Halloween. Check the FDA’s list of color additives to see if the colors are FDA-approved. If they aren’t approved for their intended use, don’t use them. This is especially important for colored makeup around the eyes.
- Don’t wear decorative (colored) contact lenses that appear to change how your eyes look due to the risk of eye injury, unless you have seen an eye care professional for a proper fitting and been given instructions for how to use the lenses.
The FDA also issued a list of tips about safe handling of Halloween treats:
- Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
- Eat a snack before heading out to avoid the temptation of nibbling on a treat before it has been inspected.
- In case of a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Tell children not to accept — or eat — anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
- Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys from the Halloween bags.
- Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
For partygoers and party throwers, the FDA recommends the following tips for two seasonal favorites:
- Unpasteurized juices and juices that have not been further processed are at higher risk of foodborne illness. Look for the warning label to identify juice that hasn’t been pasteurized or otherwise processed, especially packaged juice products made on site. If unsure, always ask if juice has been pasteurized or not. Normally, juice in boxes, bottles or cans from your grocer’s frozen food case, refrigerated section, or shelf has been pasteurized or otherwise processed to reduce harmful microorganisms.
- Before bobbing for apples — a favorite Halloween game — reduce the risk of bacteria by thoroughly rinsing the apples under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
Safety for drivers, walkers
To help make the roadways safer this Halloween, AAA Northeast offers motorists a few easy tips:
- Avoid Neighborhood Shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.
- Watch for children in the street. Watch for children walking on streets, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
- Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if hit by a car traveling 35 mph compared to 25 mph. What seems like a small difference – just 10 mph – can be the difference between life and death.
- Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths resulting in an average of one death every 45 minutes. Always designate a sober driver.
AAA’s tips for parents and children:
- Trick-or-treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany youngsters at least until the age of 12.
- Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Check costumes. Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision and where possible use face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible. Carry a flashlight.
- Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.
The Rhode Island State Police remind motorists they can immediately report dangerous drivers or hazardous roadway conditions by dialing 911 on their mobile phones.
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