Avoid unpleasant tricks with a safe Halloween

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Julane Bentley
  • 319 Air Refueling Wing Ground Safety
It's Halloween! Soon witches, goblins, and superheroes will be descending on neighborhoods across Grand Forks. Halloween should be filled with surprises and enjoyment, and the 319 Air Refueling Wing Safety Office has gathered some common sense practices to keep Halloween events safer and more fun.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states the most important guidelines that can be provided to parents are to make sure you have costumes of flame resistant fabric and that fabric typically consists of nylon or polyester. Flame resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. The best tool for fire prevention is to minimize the risk of contact with candles, costumes made with flimsy materials, and outfits with big, baggy sleeves, or billowing skirts.

To help prevent children from eating their treats before an adult can inspect them, give them a snack or light meal before they start collecting treats. Don't send them out on an empty stomach. Make sure children know not to eat any treats before an adult examines them carefully for evidence of tampering. A good rule of thumb is if in doubt, throw it out. Parents should carefully examine any toy or novelty items received by their little trick - or - treaters less than three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any small items or small parts that could separate during use. These items could present a choking hazard.

Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Be mindful of children in dark costumes during twilight and evening hours. Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. Slow down and use extreme caution while entering and exiting driveways. Children should exit vehicles on the curb side, not the traffic side. Don't let Halloween turn into a nightmare. Halloween is a particularly deadly night because of drunk drivers. Forty-one percent of national highway fatalities from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Oct. 31 involved a driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration. Almost 13,000 people were killed in crashes last year that involved a driver or motorcycle operator with an illegal BAC.

When planning to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person the vehicle keys. If impaired by alcohol, call a taxi, AADD or call a sober friend or family member for a ride home. Death and injuries from motor vehicle crashes can be prevented. The number one obvious way is to not drink and drive and always have a plan. Halloween related injuries can be prevented, but it is up to individuals to make safe choices and take responsibility for themselves and their families.

The 319 ARW Safety Office would like to wish you all a Happy and Safe Halloween.