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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a cherished tradition but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful.

There is no real "trick" to making Halloween a real treat for the entire family.

The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes.

Both children and adults need to think about safety on this annual day of make-believe.


The Hasbrouck Heights Police Department Traffic Bureau urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween.

Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.


Before children start out on their "trick or treat" rounds, parents should:

Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.

Plan and discuss the route 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 an established route.

Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never enter a stranger’s home.

Establish a return time.

Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.

Review all appropriate 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 the youngster gets separated from the group.

Costume Design

Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.

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.

Face Design

Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.

When buying special Halloween makeup, 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 manufacturer’s instruction for application.

If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.


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 youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.

Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

Children Safety

Children should understand and follow these rules:

Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.

Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.


To ensure a safe trick-or-treat outing, parents are urged to:

Give children an early meal before going out.

Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.

When in doubt, throw it out.

Source: National Safety Council ###

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The Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department passes along these safety suggestions for a safe Halloween.

Parental Tips

An adult should always accompany children under 12 years of age.

Do not use open flame candles in jack-o-lanterns. Commercially available battery lights are much safer and do not pose a fire hazard.

Parents should never let their children carve a pumpkin unsupervised.

Do not hand out homemade or unwrapped candies to children.

Parents should plan a route for their child to use while trick-or-treating and set an early return time for them.

To welcome trick-or-treaters, switch on your porch lights or any exterior lights.

Trick or Treat Tips

Do not go inside anyone’s house. Remain on the stoop or porch at all times.

Do not go into a stranger’s automobile.

Do not take shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.

When crossing the street look both ways. Do not cross in between cars.

Always use the sidewalk.

Trick-or-treat on well-lit streets within your neighborhood.

Children should always travel in a group.

Use the buddy system, and make sure you have at least one buddy with you the entire evening.

When you return home, have an adult examine and discard all candies that are not factory sealed or wrapped by the candy manufacturer. Never eat homemade or unwrapped treats.

Children should carry spare change in case of an emergency if they need to call home.

Costume Tips

Only purchase and use flame retardant costumes.

Children should wear white, reflective clothing, or use reflective tape and carry either a flashlight or glow stick.

Costumes should fit properly; avoid loose or baggy costumes.

Avoid any type of open flame while wearing a costume.

Encourage children to wear face paint as opposed to a mask. Face paint should be non-toxic and meet FDA standards.

If mask a is worn, make sure that the eye, mouth and nose openings are large enough to ensure adequate breathing and full range of vision.

Materials made of 100% polyester or modacrylics are best for making homemade costumes. They are less flammable. 100% polyester and modacrylics may be purchased at most local fabric stores.

REMEMBER – A flame-retardant costume does not mean that it is fire proof. Always keep your costume away from any type of open flame or other heat sources.

The Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department wishes you a safe and fun Halloween! Source: FDNY ###

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Tips About Treats

The FDA offers these tips for parents about treats:


Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they get home and parents have had a chance to inspect the goodies.

To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go -- don’t send them out on an empty stomach.


Tell children not to accept -- and, especially, not to eat -- anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.


When children bring their treats home, discard any home-made candy or baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.


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. ###


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