Prepare for a safe Halloween

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Trick-or-treat time will be here in a matter of days.

Prepare your goblins now for a safe night out with the right costume.

Start with flame resistance. When you buy a costume, mask, beard or wig, look for a “flame resistant” label. Although this label does not mean the items won’t catch fire, it does indicate the item will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source.

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To decrease the risk of burns, children should avoid candles and other sources of ignition especially when wearing costumes made from flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

Always make sure costumes are designed to be seen by motorists at night. Decorate costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored and decorated with reflective tape.

Also keep costumes short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling. They should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. High heels are not a good idea for safe walking. Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes.

Use cosmetics rather than have your child wear a loose-fitting mask that might block vision. If you do use a mask, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow for full vision.

Keep your Halloween foods safe too by following these recommendations from the Partnership for Food Safety Education:

— Don’t leave perishable foods out at room temperature for more than two  hours.

— Keep all perishable foods chilled until serving time. To keep store-bought party trays cold, fill the lids with ice and place trays on top. Keep salads and dips cold by nesting them in larger bowls of ice.

— When baking Halloween treats, don’t taste dough and batters that contain raw eggs.

— Serve only pasteurized juice or cider at your party.  Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella.

— Instead of junk food, stock your bowl with healthier goodies, like low-fat granola bars or snack-sized bags of nuts, trail mix, pretzels, cheese puffs or other low calorie choices. If you or your child really have to have chocolate, look at the nutrition label. Some sweets have less fat and calories than others. There are even some good sugar-free choices available.

— Since everyone won’t be shopping and preparing healthy alternatives for their little ghost and goblins, be sure to ration the Halloween candy when your children come home.

For more information on healthy food choices, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or visit us on the web at