FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE While Halloween is a favorite holiday for most families with young children, it does pose several safety risks. Children younger than 12 should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult while trick-or-treating. Older children should trick-or-treat with a group, not alone. The Springfield Fire Department, Police Department and Public Works Department offer the following tips to keep kids safe this All Hallows’ Eve. Pedestrian/Candy Safety Make sure masks don’t restrict vision and costumes don’t present a tripping hazard. Masks should be removed before crossing the street or children should hold hands with an adult.
- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags.
- Teens should be discouraged from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.
- Always walk – don't run – from house to house. Halloween is prime opportunity for families to practice safe street crossing.
- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
- Costumes should fit well and not pose tripping hazards.
- Stay on familiar, well-lighted sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Use crosswalks whenever possible.
- Look for cars when walking by a driveway.
- Never accept rides from strangers or enter a stranger’s home while trick-or-treating.
- Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials.
- Insist that all treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten and stick to commercially packed treats. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Motorists should slow down, be on the lookout for pedestrians and avoid using their cell phone.
- Avoid passing stopped cars, as children are likely to exit the vehicle.
- Buy costumes and wigs labeled "flame resistant." Stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o’-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn, and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, cover their face and roll if their clothing catches fire.
# # # For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), [email protected]