Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Safe Trick-or-Treating Tips From the American Humane Association

/PRNewswire/ -- "Trick-or-Treat!" The phrase has been used for decades as wide-eyed children eagerly hold out pumpkin pails, plastic bags or pillowcases to receive candy from neighbors -- many of whom are strangers. It is a fun tradition for both children and adults, but simple and important precautions should be taken to ensure a safe Halloween experience for all. Please consider these safety tips from the American Humane Association:

-- Children should always be supervised by an adult while
-- Carefully inspect each piece of candy. Only allow children to eat
candy that is wrapped -- never give candy to a child if the wrapper
has been opened or is torn.
-- Never let children go into someone's house or car, even if invited.
Explain your reasons why ahead of time so children are prepared to say
"no" if asked.
-- Always stay in well-lit areas -- don't travel off the beaten path. Try
to stay on sidewalks, go to well-lit houses and always go to the front
-- Make sure your children are carrying a flashlight or glow stick, or
make sure there is reflective tape on costumes to ensure that they are
visible to cars and other trick-or-treaters.
-- Don't put out jack-o'-lanterns with real candles, as costumes might
get caught in the flame. Safe, battery-operated tea lights can be used
-- Have fun buying or making your kids' costumes, but be sure they are
flame resistant, allow the wearer to see clearly, and do not pose a
tripping hazard.

If you are not comfortable taking your children around the neighborhood to trick-or-treat, there are several alternatives you can consider, such as:

-- Trick-or-treating at your local mall, community center or other public
location. Watch your local TV news or newspaper for information.
-- Throw a Halloween party for your family and friends. Plan fun games
and give away prizes -- you could even invite neighbors!
-- Organize a neighborhood or school Halloween parade where kids and
adults can show off their costumes and decorate spooky wagons or

The Children's Division of American Humane is a national leader in developing programs, policies, training, research and evaluation, and cutting-edge initiatives to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect. At the same time, the organization works to strengthen families and communities and enhance child-protection systems at the state and county levels. For more information, please visit http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-children.

The American Humane Association wishes everyone safe and happy trick-or-treating this Halloween. For more information about American Humane, go to www.americanhumane.org. Follow us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/americanhumane), MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/americanhumane) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AmericanHumane). The information contained in this release may be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.

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