Enjoy a safe Trick-or-Treat

By Wayne Allen

October 27, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Trick-or-Treat throughout Scioto County is scheduled for Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. State and local agencies are offering a number of safety tips to help area Tick-or-Treaters stay safe.

According to the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, when it comes to costume safety, Trick-or-Treaters should wear light-colored or reflective clothing.

The Red Cross is suggesting that reflective tape should be added to costumes, tick-or-treat bags, bikes and skateboard.

The Red Cross also suggests that costumes should be flame-resistant and instead of wearing masks or things that will cover your eyes you should consider using face makeup as a safe alternative.

While trick-or-treating, the Red Cross suggests you should plan your route and share it with others. They are also suggesting an adult travel with a group of children.

The Red Cross is suggesting that trick-or-treaters should never go inside a stranger’s home to accept treats and should only visit homes with the porch light on.

Other suggestions given for trick-or-treaters by the red cross include, walk, slither or creep on sidewalks and never in the street. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards, use alleys or cross between parked cars.

Be cautious around strangers and animals and always have a grown up check the treats collected before any is consumed. Don’t eat any candy if the package has been opened.

When preparing for trick-or-treaters the Red Cross is advising make sure the outdoor lights are on, sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps, clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over and restrain pets.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses the acronym, “Safe Halloween.” To provide safety tips and advice.

S - Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

A - Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

F - Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

E - Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

H - Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always Walk and don’t run from house to house.

A - Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L - Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

L - Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O - Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

W - Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

E - Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E - Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

N - Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers tips that have been deemed the “Lucky 13”:

1. Wear costumes made of fire-retardant materials; look for “flame resistant” on the label. If you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon.

2. 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.

3. Wear makeup and hats rather than masks that can obscure your vision.

4. Test the makeup you plan to use by putting a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it a couple of days in advance. If a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, that a sign of a possible allergy.

5. Check FDA’s list of color additives to see if makeup additives are FDA approved. If they aren’t approved for their intended use, don’t use it.

6. Don’t wear decorative contact lenses unless you have seen an eye care professional and gotten a proper lens fitting and instructions for using the lenses.

Eating sweet treats is also a big part of the fun on Halloween. If you’re trick-or-treating, health and safety experts say you should remember these tips:

1. Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.

2. Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.

3. Tell children not to accept—or eat—anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.

4. Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

5. 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 those attending or hosting parties, FDA recommends the following tips for two seasonal favorites:

1. Look for the warning label to avoid juice that hasn’t been pasteurized or otherwise processed, especially packaged juice products that may have been made on site. When in doubt, ask! Always ask if you are unsure if a juice product is pasteurized or not. Normally, the juice found in your grocer’s frozen food case, refrigerated section, or on the shelf in boxes, bottles, or cans is pasteurized.

2. Before bobbing for apples—a favorite Halloween game—reduce the amount of bacteria that might be on apples by thoroughly rinsing them under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.

According to the United State Census Bureau, there was an estimated 41.1 million trick-or-treaters in 2012 ages ranging from 5 to 14 years old. In 2012 there were an estimated 47,800 acres of pumpkins harvested in the U.S. in 2012.

According to an article on www.esquire.com. on 2012 Halloween facts, “the percentage of American adults who will dole out candy is 76. Percent of children who say they’ll eat to much candy is 67. The percentage of trick-treaters who said they’d rather receive a free video game than candy is 93. The average amount spent by an individual on Halloween candy is between $79.83 up from $72.31 from 2011.”

If you or someone sees suspicious activities while trick-or-treating, the The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 740-354-7566. The New Boston Police Department can be reached at 740-456-4109 and the Portsmouth Police Department can be reached at 740-353-4101.


Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.