Stay safe on Halloween
Next week, area youngsters will take to the streets to celebrate Halloween by trick-or-treating in neighborhoods across Barry County.
"Halloween activities can be fun for people of all ages," said Jami Blackwell, CoxHealth Trauma Services manager. "But the fun ends quickly when someone gets hurt."
CoxHealth and the American Red Cross offer several tips for ensuring families stay safe this Halloween.
* Use flame resistant costumes.
* Make sure costume accessories, such as knives and swords, are short, soft and flexible.
* Avoid tripping hazards by ensuring costumes fit and vision is not obstructed by masks. Use face makeup instead of masks if possible.
* Don't allow children to trick-or-treat alone.
* Place reflective tape on costumes and bags to help drivers see children who are trick-or-treating in the dark.
* Examine all treats before allowing children to consume them. Discard treats that are spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious, and do not consume homemade treats prepared by strangers.
* Do not walk near lit candles or luminaries.
* Review basic safety with children before trick-or-treating. They should know only to approach houses where the porch lights are on, to never enter a house or car to get a treat and to stay on sidewalks where available.
* Allow children to carry a flashlight while trick-or-treating.
* Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.
Community members interested in providing treats for youngsters on Halloween can take the following steps to make their property more safe:
* Keep all outdoor lights on.
* Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.
* Clear the porch and front yard of obstacles that children could trip over.
* Restrain pets.
* Use a glow stick flameless candles in jack-o-lanterns to avoid fire hazards.