· Keep to neighborhoods you know well.
· Visit only houses that are lit. Stick to the sidewalk – don’t run – and pay attention to traffic signals.
· Don’t cut across driveways and yards, especially in the dark.
· Use makeup instead of wearing a mask.
· Wear shoes that provide good support, fit, and traction.
· Don’t wear costumes that dangle or drag on the ground.
· Carry only fake, flexible rubber swords, knives, etc.
· Be sure that an adult – if not you – is with children under the age of 10 at all times.
· Know where your children are going.
· A cell phone is a recommended part of the wardrobe for children and adults.
· Tell your children where they can reach you if you are going out that night.
· Make sure that children’s costumes are flame-retardant and use reflective tape.
· Instruct children that all candy they collect must be inspected by you at home before it can be eaten.
· Toss out anything that looks like it may have been tampered with.
Halloween is one of the most avidly awaited holidays for children and me (next to Christmas of course), but it also harbors the greatest potential for dangers, including accidents and contact with strangers as I posted earlier.
While any night on which children parade darkly-lit streets in a race for candy is a fraught with hazards, statistically speaking, the biggest threats to kids on Halloween are traffic accidents, cuts while carving pumpkins, and fires caused by candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Halloween is the most dangerous evening for children to be on the streets. In fact, The CDC states
"the number of childhood pedestrian deaths increased fourfold among children on Halloween evenings when compared with all other evenings."
Halloween is an evening of parties, too, and more drunk drivers are on the road at precisely the time children are too.
Another increasingly relevant worry for parents is that Halloween is primetime for sexual predators which is exactly why I posted, remind your children to say no to strangers.
"Halloween is a day when child safety is on everyone’s mind," Trip Wakefield, CEO of ThinAir Wireless said. "Parents should accompany small children and explain to older ones how to avoid problems when trick-or-treating."
One way to keep track of your children is to use Boost Mobile to keep tabs on your kids
Another way use GPS:
Telematics innovator ThinAir Wireless makes the P.O.M. Offender Locator, which quickly and accurately pinpoints sexual offenders in any neighborhood. The Offender Locator is a downloadable app available for iPhones and is currently the 23rd most popular iPhone application in the “top paid app” category; it is fourth in “utilities”. Two versions, one of which is free, are available for download in the iTunes Store (listed under “Utilities”).
The statistical probability that children will have contact with a sexual predator is now 1 in 3.
"With Halloween just a month away, the time to begin talking about safety with your child is now," Wakefield said. "P.O.M. Offender Locator, in its free (2.5) or paid (2.2) versions, should be considered an integral part of any family security strategy."
ThinAir Wireless shared these Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters and parents:
A Third Way:
"It’s all about awareness," Wakefield said. “Peace of Mind products by Vision 20/20 (consumer division of ThinAir Wireless) gives parents the most information possible to make better decisions for child safety. You can do a quick scan for registered sex offenders in the neighborhood, before heading out to go trick-or-treating, using the POM Offender Locator iPhone App. You can also clip a POM Guardian (GPS device used most often to track high risk individuals like teenage drivers, Alzheimers wanderers and autistic children) to your child’s belt for those ‘what if?’ moments.”
It only takes a few seconds for a small child to grab a boiling pot of water off a stove, or a burning candle off a living room table, causing accidental burns that could affect a child for years to come. As parents, we can adjust our routine, and protect our children from burns in just 30 seconds.
Eighty percent of burn injuries occur in and around the home. Underwriters Laboratories has an important message for parents. Potential accidents – like fires and burns – may be just one distraction away, but can be prevented if you consider safety in your family’s everyday routines. Identifying the burn hazards within your home’s hot spots and taking steps to minimize potential danger is another great step toward being Safety Smart!®
STAY SAFETY SMART – IDENTIFY HOME HOT SPOTS TO PREVENT BURNS
According to national U.S. burn statistics, approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported every year. What’s more, four out of every five burn incidents occur in and around the home, with the kitchen and bathroom being the home’s top “hot spots.” This Fire Prevention Week, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is helping families identify potential burn hazards around the home that parents may overlook, and providing them with easy-to-remember burn prevention tips.
Hot Spot Highlight: Kitchen
- Create a kids-free zone in the kitchen. Parents should keep kids about three feet away from the stove – if possible – while cooking. Better yet, parents could have children do homework or chores to earn allowance to keep them out of the kitchen altogether while preparing meals.
· Keep the pots in back. Cook on the back burners. Never leave a pot on the stove within reach of a child as children have a tendency to reach up and grab anything in their line of sight.
· You win with pot handles in. Turn pot handles inward to help prevent small children from reaching and pulling down a hot pan.
- Keep cords clear from curious children. Store appliance cords away from counter edges. A dangling cord is a potential hazard as it can get caught in a cabinet door or be pulled on by a child.
- Inspect product packaging for safety. The UL Mark confirms a product has been tested and certified to meet specific safety standards has been found free of foreseeable hazards.
Hot Spot Highlight: Bathroom
- Keep a close eye on kids – especially in the bathroom. Adequate and constant supervision is the single most important factor in preventing tap water scalds. It takes only a second for a child to turn on the hot water and get burned. If you must leave the bathroom while bathing a child, take them with you.
- Setting your water heater to 120°F or less. To avoid accidental scalds, make sure your water heater’s temperature is set below 120°F or set to “low.” Anything above that temperature can cause severe burns within seconds.
- If the water is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your child. Before bath time, make sure your child’s bath water isn’t too hot. An adult should be able to place his or her arm in the water for 30 seconds without discomfort. To cool the bath water down, run some cold water before your child gets in.
- Keep bathroom counters clear and uncluttered. These products get very hot and are major sources of burns in young children. Turn these items off and store them away to prevent your child from accidentally burning his/her hand.
Hot Spot Highlight: Family Room
- Blow out candles before leaving a room! Be aware of burning candles throughout the house and always blow them out before leaving a room. If you have children or pets running around the house, a candle can easily be knocked down and start a fire.
- Cover electrical outlets. Sticking things like fingers or toys into an electrical outlet can cause an electrical burn. Make sure to cover all electrical outlets with outlet covers so children aren’t tempted to play with them.
- Store candles away from children and pets. If you like to keep candles burning in the home, make sure you place them up high and in the center of a table so children can’t reach up and touch the hot flames.
- Supervise space heater use. Space heaters can get very hot, and can potentially cause accidental burns. Always monitor children when using space heaters and teach children not to touch any part of the heater.
- Keep the fire in the fireplace. Fireplaces are a common way to heat the home. Make sure to store matches and lighters in a place where children do not have access to them. And, cover your fireplace with a metal mesh screen.
Hot Spot Highlight: The Entire Home
- Install smoke alarms in your home, they save lives. Install smoke alarms on each level of the home to ensure every area of the home is covered and replace smoke alarms every ten years. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of fire-related deaths. Also consider outfitting your home with interconnected technology to link all alarms so when one detects smoke, all alarms will sound.
- If there is a fire in the home – GET OUT – quickly and safely! If a fire breaks out, your first step is to get everyone out of the house and call the fire department. Make sure you and your family knows the quickest way to get out of the house and practice your home fire escape drill so that it becomes second nature.
- Keep fire extinguishers handy. Read the instruction manual and know your extinguisher’s capabilities before trying to fight a fire. Portable fire extinguishers are useful for putting out small fires, but recognize your limits and the limits of the extinguisher.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS FROM UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES
For families across the country, Halloween is the official launch of the holiday and decorating season, which is why it is important for parents to recognize the potential safety hazards that may be associated with many of the season’s celebratory activities. This Halloween, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading independent product safety organization, is reminding parents to keep safety top-of-mind before, during and after the night’s festivities.
Safe and Scary Home Decorating
· Inspect decorations for loose connections, frayed or bare wires and broken or cracked sockets when using lights to decorate the home for Halloween. When hanging lights use plastic hooks or clips to reduce the risk of electric shock and fire hazards. Never nail or staple light strings.
· Don’t overload extension cords by plugging in electrical decorations that draw more watts than the rating of the cord. Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations such as fog machines and electrically-powered inflatable decorations.
· Make sure walkways are well-lit and free of decorations. Decorations that obstruct a walkway could potentially cause eager trick-or-treaters to trip or fall.
· Look for the holographic UL Mark on light strings, electrical decorations and extension cords before tacking up the skeleton and pumpkin lights. UL has been testing products for potential risk of fire, electric shock and other hazards for 115 years. The UL Mark means the product has been found free of foreseeable hazards and is safer for your family.
· Keep candles away from items that easily catch fire, such as decorations, window treatments, and paper. Halloween is the fifth highest day for reported candle fires. Candles are the top ignition source for the majority of the 17,200 reported house fires every year.
Safe and Scary Costumes Dressing
· Look for flame resistant labels when purchasing costumes, fabric and accessories. Although this label does not mean these items won’t catch fire, it does indicate the fabric will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source.
· Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping and falling. Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts, which could increase the risk of tripping and is more likely to come in contact with candles or other ignition sources.
· Purchase or make costumes from light-colored material. Light and bright fabrics will be clearly visible to motorists. If you do wear dark materials, decorate costumes with reflective tape or carry a flashlight for better visibility.
· Use makeup instead of a mask. Masks can obstruct vision and children may find it hard to breathe when wearing them. If a mask is used make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
About Underwriters Laboratories
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 72,000 manufacturers’ products each year. UL’s worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 64 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 98 countries. For more information, visit: http://www.ul.com/consumers