For Immediate Release - October 23, 2012

Office Of Consumer Affairs Offers Tips To Stay Safe On Halloween


Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony talks about Halloween safety with a child at the Transportation Building Day Care Center on Oct. 23.

Today, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony offered the following tips to the children, staff and parents from the Transportation Children's Center on how to stay safe on Halloween.

"Halloween kicks off a season of fun holidays and we want to keep an eye out for our smallest consumers" said Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony. "Parents should prepare early and check out everything from costumes to candy in preparation for the big night."

Costumes:

  • When purchasing a costume look for labels that state that the costume is flame resistant.  Homemade costumes with spray-on glitter are extremely flammable; instead sew on sequins and avoid using glue.
  • Have children wear reflective patches or tape when going trick-or-treating at night, which will make them more visible by drivers and chaperones.
  • Make sure that the child's costume fits properly to avoid tripping over a long dress or cape.
  • Avoid costumes with masks, wigs, hats, or eye patches that may block the child's vision.  Enlarge eye holes in masks and use makeup to cover up extra visible skin.
  • Be sure to pre-test any makeup by applying a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it for about thirty minutes a couple of days in advance. If a rash, redness, swelling, or any other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, it could be a sign of a possible allergy or adverse reaction.
  • Make sure props such as swords or knives are short and flexible so as to avoid injury.

Trick-or-Treating:

  • Children should be accompanied by an adult and teens should travel in groups.  If you are not accompanying your child, attach their full names and a phone number to their costumes somewhere if they are too young to remember them.
  • Stay in well lit areas and carry a flashlight.  Have your kids trick-or-treat in areas where there are a lot of people around. They should also avoid taking short-cuts through alleys and parking lots.  Plan the route ahead of time.
  • Never allow a child to enter someone's home or apartment alone.
  • Check treats for any kind of tampering before eating.  Do not let children accept homemade treats from someone you do not know very well.
  • Abide by local city or town curfew hours.

Halloween Parties:

  • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.  Do not let children use sharp knives; have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin then have an adult do the cutting.
  • Place jack-o-lanterns and other candles away from curtains and other flammable objects and do not leave lighted pumpkins unattended.
  • Do not let children use real candles.  Artificial lights and candles are a safer alternative. 
  • Do not overload extension cords or sockets and use heavy-duty extension cords for decorations that require high wattage.

The Patrick-Murray Administration's Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

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