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Expert ‘tricks’ help keep Halloween a treat, says Rural/Metro’s Randby

Halloween can be a lot of fun – but the fun stops in a hurry if your littletrick-or-treaters are in an accident.

“Every year, hundreds of kids nationwide are injured in Halloween-relatedaccidents that could be avoided,” Rural/Metro’s Ranee Randby said. “The good news is that parents can do lots of things before their kids even leave the

house to keep them safe – without taking the fun out of the holiday.”

When selecting a costume, Randby suggests:

• Avoid costume pieces that could cause your child to trip or fall. Wizard robes, princess dresses and even the clas-

sic sheet-for-a-ghost costume shouldn’t be long enough to get underfoot; oversized or high-heeled shoes are also a no-no. Tails, wings or other false “body parts” should be fastened to prevent tripping.

• Make sure your child can see and breathe easily. Avoid masks, beards, hats or wigs that can obstruct vision or breathing. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup is a great substitute.

• Make sure your child can be seen easily. Avoid dark-colored costumes, use reflective tape on costumes, and make sure your child has a flashlight.

• Use props, such as wands or swords, that are blunt-tipped and flexible.

Randby said parents should accompany young children on their rounds, and make sure all trick-or-treaters know and follow basic Halloween safety rules:

• Never go inside a house unless you’re accompanied by a parent or other adult you know.

• Children old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult should go with at least two other kids.

• Only go to houses that are well-lit.

• Stay on sidewalks whenever possible.

• Walk, don’t run.

• Obey traffic signals and look carefully when crossing streets.

• Don’t get too close to lighted jack-o’-lanterns.

• Never eat treats until an adult has checked them.

Parents should check all treats for signs of tampering and discard any loose candy or homemade treats not made by someone they know. Also, young children shouldn’t be allowed to have hard candy, gum or other choking hazards. It’s a good idea to feed children before they go out trick-or-treating, so they’re not as tempted to dig into the goodies before they can be checked.

If trick-or-treaters are coming to your home, make sure the path to the door is well-lit and free of toys, bikes or other obstacles. Avoid fire hazards by using flashlights or glow-sticks in jack-o’-lanterns (painted pumpkins

are also a good option) and using care with dried flowers, cornstalks or other decorations.

Rural/Metro of Tennessee is the largest emergency service provider in East Tennessee, with a combined work force of more than 500 firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, telecommunicators and other support personnel. Rural/Metro Ambulance Service is the only accredited provider in the state. Rural/Metro Fire Department has provided fire protection for Knox County since 1977. It is the third-largest fire department in Tennessee based on population protected and the fourth-largest based on the number of firefighters employed. and safety solutions.


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