While Halloween is an enjoyable family tradition for many Tinkerites, safety is an important element to consider for all on Tinker Air Force Base as children are out seeking treats during the designated 5-7 p.m. trick-or-treating time.
Children may be on the lookout for ghosts, ghouls and goblins, but the National Safety Council cautions that the majority of hazards children face during Halloween involve falls and encounters with pedestrians or vehicles.
Both Tinker Air Force Base’s 72nd Air Base Wing Safety Office and the National Safety Council encourage motorists, parents and children to pay extra attention during the designated times for trick-or-treating.
· Watch for children darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
· Enter and exit driveways and alleys very carefully.
· At twilight and during the darker hours to follow, be especially alert for children in dark clothing.
· Before children begin“trick-or-treating,” parents should ensure that an adult or an older, responsible youth will be supervising the outing – especially for children under 12.
· Plan and discuss the route the trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
· Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along a planned route.
· Establish a return time.
· Instruct your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
· Tell your children never to eat any treats until they return home.
· Review trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
· Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case he or she gets separated from the group.
· Glow sticks can also be used as a way to make children visible, either incorporating into costumes or by holding them.
· Understand and follow all parental instructions.
· Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
· Walk — do not run — from house to house. Respect other peoples’ private property – do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
· Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
· Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
· Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
· Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
· Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard – falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.
· If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light-colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
· Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
· When buying special Halloween make-up, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “made with U.S. approved color additives,” “laboratory tested,” “meets federal standards for cosmetics” or “non-toxic.” Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for application.
· If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings along with large eyeholes.
· Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
· Bags or sacks carried by children should be light-colored or trimmed with reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
· Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
· To ensure a safe trick-or-treat outing, parents are urged to give their children an early meal before going out.
· Parents should insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
· Parents should wash fruit and slice the fruit into small pieces.
· When in doubt, throw it out.
Halloween is a time for fun and close attention to safety precautions ensure spooky activities can go without a snag. Tinker’s Security Forces will be out in the community during Halloween activities. They can be reached for any safety concerns or for situations that require police attention at 734-3737.