rap #199 10/14/10
MAKE SURE ANY HALLOWEEN SCARES ARE THE FUN KIND
ITíS OK TO be scary, but itís better to be safe this Halloween, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders said.
"Letís make sure all of our Halloween scares are the fun kind," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari. "Working together, we can keep the holiday safe
and enjoyable for all of our little ghosts, princesses and superheroes.
Vicari, who is liaison to the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs, asked parents to follow a few simple rules to protect their children who
will soon be on the prowl for candy.
"Before they leave for trick-or-treat, check your childís costume to make sure itís safe," he said. "Also talk to your children about the dangers
of eating their treats before theyíre checked by an adult."
Vicari offered these additional suggestions for a safe Halloween:
Vicari also asked that motorists pay special attention when driving on trick-or-treat night.
- An adult should accompany young children.
- Trick-or-treat only on well-lit streets.
- Teach children to use sidewalks or walk on the grass. Never walk on the shoulder of a road.
- Costumes should be made with light-colored material. Use reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Masks can obscure a childís vision, use facial make-up instead.
- Trick-or-treaters should carry flashlights.
- Parents should teach children to walk and not run as they go from house to house.
- Youngsters should wear only flame-resistant costumes.
"If children are out while you are driving, slow down and be extra careful of children walking along the side of the road," he said. "Some kids will wear
dark costumes and may be difficult to see."
According to federal statistics, adolescents are four times more likely to be struck by an automobile on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
"If possible, young people should trick-or-treat during the daylight hours," Vicari said. "If children must go out at night, itís critical that
parents ensure they are visible to passing motorists."
Vicari also asked residents be careful with their pets during the holiday.
With strangers in strange costumes knocking on doors and homes suddenly filled with sweet treats and potentially deadly candy wrappers, Halloween
can be a scary time for pets, Vicari said.
"Chocolate may be a delicious treat for us but for some animals it can be deadly," he said. "Even a dropped lollipop stick can become a serious
hazard if swallowed by a pet."
Vicari said while it may seem like a fun idea to dress up a favorite pet for the holiday, the animal may have other ideas.
"If you do dress your pet, be sure that its costume doesnít interfere with the petís ability to breathe, see, hear or move," he said.
The American Veterinary Medical Association released a list of safety tips to ensure that pets remain safe this Halloween.
"Following these simple guidelines will mean your pet will stay healthy and safe during the holiday," Vicari said.
- Donít leave your pet outside on Halloween or on the days leading up to the holiday. Halloween pranks committed against pets can be vicious. Black cats are
particularly at risk.
- Keep pumpkins out of reach of animals. Curious paws could topple a lit pumpkin, possibly causing a fire.
- Consider keeping your pet in a separate room when trick-or-treaters call. This will also prevent your pet from trying to escape through an open door when
the ghosts and goblins knock.
- Always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification in case it does escape.