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Takoma’s Trick-Or-Treating Tips
GREENEVILLE, TN – Trick-or-treating is a long-standing tradition of fun for many families. If your child plans to go door-to-door this month, remember to keep safety at the forefront.

   Dr. Steve Perry, a pediatrician with the Medical Group of Greeneville’s Children’s Center, offers these tips to help make the evening an enjoyable one for all:

BEFORE TRICK-OR-TREATING:

·        Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

·        Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

·        Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.

·        Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.

·        When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.

·        Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.

·        Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

·        Plan ahead to use only battery powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.

·        Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.

·        Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll," should their clothes catch on fire.

·        Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.

·        Consider purchasing individually packaged healthy food alternatives (or safe non-food treats) for those who visit your home.

·        Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.

THE BIG NIGHT:

·        A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

·        Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects, and do not block exit doors.

·        While children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O' Lantern, leave the carving to adults.

·        Always keep Jack O' Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.

·        Plan and review with your children the route and behavior which is acceptable to you.

·        Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.

·        A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

·        Remind trick-or-treaters:

·        By using a flashlight, they can see and be seen by others.

·        Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.

·        Only trick-or-treat in well known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.

·        Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.

·        If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.

·        Never cut across yards or use alleys.

·        Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.

·        Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.

·        Always walk. Never run across a street.

·        Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will.

·        Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.

·        No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.

AFTER TRICK-OR-TREATING:

·        Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

·        Save treats for the days following Halloween. Don’t let them eat everything right away.

·        Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies) are given only to those of an appropriate age.

   For more information, please contact the Children’s Center at 636-2393.



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