Red Cross Offers Tips for a Safe, yet Spooky Halloween; Avoid injuries, costume mishaps, traffic accidents

Photo by Rebecca Blanchard Children painted pumpkins at Boyertown's 2013 Turning Lead Fall Festival.

With Halloween right around the corner, the American Red Cross would like everyone to stay safe when they wear their costumes and go out to Trick-or-Treat.

Halloweenís greatest hazards arenít vampires and villains, but falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents. The Red Cross is offering the following tips to help make this Halloween safe:

Look for flame-resistant costumes.

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Plan the Trick-or-Treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.

Make sure Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Everyone should wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen.

Visit only the homes that have a porch light turned on. Accept treats at the door Ė never go inside.

Instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, consider using face paint.

Walk only on sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Donít cut across yards or use alleys. Donít cross between parked cars.

Be cautious around pets and any other animals.

WELCOMING GHOSTS AND GOBLINS If someone is welcoming Trick-or-Treaters at their home, they should make sure the outdoor light is turned on. Other safety steps include:

Sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps.

Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.

Restrain any household pets.

Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.

LEARN WHAT TO DO Download the free American Red Cross First Aid App. Users will receive instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies whenever and wherever they need it. Features of the app include:

Step-by-step instructions on how to handle the most common first aid situations;

Videos and animations that make the skills easy to learn;

Safety and preparedness tips; and

Quizzes that users can take to earn badges which they can share with their friends on social media.

People can find all of the Red Cross apps in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.