Safety office offers Halloween safety tips
Injury to a loved one or a missing child can turn Halloween into a miserable experience.
The Fort Belvoir Safety Office offers several safety tips for Families to use so they spend the night trick or treating and not dealing with an emergency during Halloween Wednesday.
Patricia Borel, Safety Office occupational health and safety specialist, said a Family’s safety starts with Halloween attire.
Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts to minimize the risk of falling.
Families should also purchase flame resistance costumes, masks, beards and other accessories. Parents are encouraged to trick or treat with their children. Borel recommends parents who don’t chaperone their children leave detailed trick or treat instructions.
"When your children are leaving the house you should ensure they are with at least two friends for the entire evening, and designate a specific route for them to take," Borel said.
Parents should also remind their children not to accept rides from strangers, to not take short cuts through backyards, alleys, or parks and to not go inside anyone’s home.
Christopher McCormick, Fort Belvoir Safety Office, occupational healty and safety specialist, recommends decorators use artificial lights and candles, which are safer to use than real candles. Families providing candy to children should keep dogs and other pets away from doors to avoid frightening children.
"Make sure your yard and sidewalk are free of anything a person could trip over," McCormick said. "Costume masks make it much harder to see where you are going."
When a child returns home from trick or treating, Borel said parents should check candy bags and only allow their children to consume treats that show no signs of tampering.
Halloween is also a fun time for adults as McCormick estimated nearly 1 in 3 adults will attend a Halloween party this year. Families hosting parties should move breakable pieces of furniture away from the party area. Hosts using dry ice in a punch bowl should use a large punch bowl for the ice and a smaller bowl, one that fits inside the large bowl, for the punch.
"Keep them separate, dry ice is not for ingestion and can cause serious damage to internal organs if swallowed," McCormick said.
Guest should consider staying overnight, especially if they intend to consume alcohol. People can ask to stay at a friend’s house or research hotel accommodations within walking distance. Many hotels offer special Halloween weekend rates and promotions, according to McCormick.
"Do not let impaired guests drive," McCormick said. "Prepare a list of local taxi companies in advance to have ready should guests need to call one."
Drivers should exercise caution when maneuvering around the installation during Halloween to avoid hitting pedestrians. McCormick recommends motorists avoid cutting through residential areas and party hosts should avoid providing directions to their home that involves unnecessarily cutting through residential areas.
"Motorists should scan far ahead when driving in residential areas, watch for children, and cautiously monitor their actions," McCormick said. "When driving through residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely out, consider driving five miles per hour less than the posted speed limit."