Halloween brings jack-o-lanterns, whimsical costumes, and visits from young neighbors in disguise. The Nassau County Department of Health offers these Halloween safety tips to help keep this holiday safe and enjoyable for everyone.
• If a child wants a carved jack-o-lantern, let an adult do the carving, or let the child use a knife especially designed for use by young children.
• Use a small flashlight inside a pumpkin instead of a candle which may pose a fire hazard. • If a candle is used, light it only for short periods and keep it away from unsupervised youngsters as well as flammable furnishings.
• In choosing costumes, keep safety in mind. Trick-or-treaters need to see and be seen. • If a mask is part of a costume, make sure it will not slip and cover the eyes. The eyeholes should be large enough to see through clearly.
• Consider using face paints or cosmetics to create an original "mask". • Hats and scarves should also be tied firmly, so that they do not restrict vision.
• Select light colored costumes. • Attach reflective tape or stickers to costumes or footwear and to Halloween treat bags so that they can be seen more easily by motorists.
• Small children need a supervising adult with them when trick-or- treating. • Have children carry flashlights to light their way and be more visible to motorists.
• Walk on sidewalks where available. • If children must walk on a road, walk facing traffic.
• Trick-or-treaters should go only to houses where they know the residents, and where the outside light is on. • Children should stay on the porch or outside steps to get their treats, and NEVER go into a home without an adult.
• For treats, parents should consider healthy options to candy. Healthful prepackaged snacks such as raisins, or treats such as coins, stickers, sports cards or coupons from local businesses are a welcome alternative. • Children should be warned not to eat any food until an adult has inspected it at home. Unwrapped treats and those showing signs of tampering should be discarded.