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Halloween Safety Tips From Police, Red Cross, AAA

[CREDIT: RI State Police] The RI State Police, AAA and the CDC offer routine Halloween Safety tips for hosts and Trick or Treaters.

[CREDIT: RI State Police] The RI State Police, AAA and the CDC offer routine Halloween Safety tips for hosts and Trick or Treaters.
[CREDIT: RI State Police] The RI State Police, AAA and the CDC offer routine Halloween Safety tips for hosts and Trick or Treaters.
Warwick, RI – The local forecast for Halloween evening Sunday promises 48 degrees and a slight south wind of 7 to 9 mph, so an extra layer under your costume will be a good idea, and a quick review of safety tips couldn’t hurt.

For adults, the RI State Police warn of sobering Halloween statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, 38 percent of all fatalities on Halloween night involved an impaired driver, and 11 percent of those involved a pedestrian.

State Police remind motorists they can immediately report dangerous drivers or hazardous roadway conditions by dialing 911 on their mobile phones.

Pandemic Halloween Safety

The Red Cross has put together a pandemic- minded set of Halloween safety tips this year:

  1. Make your cloth mask part of your costume. A costume mask is not a safe substitute for a cloth mask. Avoid wearing a costume mask over a cloth mask as it can make breathing difficult.
  2. Plan outdoor activities and avoid indoor events where the risk of virus transmission is higher.
  3. Bring hand sanitizer with you while trick-or-treating and use it after touching objects or other people. Wash your hands when you get home.
  4. Avoid trick-or-treating in large groups, and social distance from others around the neighborhood.
  5. Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give kids a flashlight to light their way and consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  6. Plan the trick-or-treat route in advance and make sure adults know where their children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door.
  7. It’s not only vampires and monsters people have to look out for. Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
  8. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. Avoid running. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  9. Only visit homes that have a porch light on, and never go inside.
  10. Make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

For those planning to welcome trick-or-treaters to their homes, follow these safety steps:

  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters by setting up an area with individually bagged treats for kids to take. Wash your hands before handling treats.
  • Maintain social distancing and wear a cloth mask.
  • Light the area well so young visitors can see.
  • Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app for instant access to expert advice in case your ghost, goblin or superhero has a mishap. Use the Emergency app for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

RI State Police Halloween Safety Tips

To ensure a safe and happy Halloween, RI State Police remind motorists:

• Use caution while behind the wheel.
• Slow down and be alert in residential areas.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
• Eliminate distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
• Always designate a sober driver and plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night if you plan on celebrating Halloween with alcohol.
• Use your community’s sober ride program or take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement.
• If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

In keeping with the adult cautionary theme, the CDC released the following tips for Halloween revelers:

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

Follow these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for everyone:

  • Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Finally, there are, of course, some things for trick-or-treaters and their chaperones to bear in mind:

Going Trick-or-Treating? 

  • Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the treats you eat.
  • Hold a flashlight to help you see and others see you. WALK, don’t run.
  • Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
  • Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses
  • Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
  • Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
  • Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

AAA Halloween safety tips:

For Parents/Guardians:

  • For younger kids, pin a piece of paper with your child’s name, address and phone number inside your child’s pocket in case you get separated.
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow; instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
  • Teach children to stop only well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Instruct children to not eat any candy until they get home.
  • Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant, visible with reflective material and will not obstruct vision or movement.  Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped.

For Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it face down in the treat bucket to free up one hand.  Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
  • Always stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets; if there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Remember to look both ways before crossing!
  • Stay with a group of people and don’t wander off on your own.
  • Tell your parents/guardians where you are going and make sure to get home by a pre-established time.

 

For Motorists:

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.  In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.
Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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