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Halloween safety tips
Yuma County law enforcement agencies and emergency medical responders hope residents will take precautions to ensure the well-being of their little ghouls and goblins this Halloween.
“We want everyone to have a safe Halloween,” said Robby Rodriguez, public information officer for the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department.
Here are some Halloween safety tips from the Yuma Police Department and Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department:
• Drive slowly through residential areas, as there will be an increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The posted speed limit in a residential area is 25 mph.
• If traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood, have passengers exit the vehicle on the side facing the curb to decrease their chances of being hit by passing vehicles.
• Keep distractions, such as cell phones and radios, to a minimum. Inattentiveness is the leading cause of accidents.
• Parents or guardians accompanying their children should not follow them in a car, but instead get out and walk with them. Drivers watching their kids may not be paying attention to the roadway in front of them.
• Warn children not to eat any treats until a parent or trusted adult has carefully examined the candy for evidence of tampering.
• When purchasing a Halloween costume, masks, beards or wigs, look for the label “Flame resistant.” Although this label does not mean these items will not catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize risk, prevent any contact with candles or other sources of ignition. In addition, avoid costumes made of flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
• Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
• Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
• Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
• For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting good stores.
• Stay away from pets. The pet may not recognize the child and become frightened.
• To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights or glow sticks and stay on sidewalks.
• Children should cross the street at corners or crosswalks and never between parked cars.
• Children should wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes.
• Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over the children's eyes.
• Apply cosmetics to the face rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
• Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
• Children should never go into homes – stay on the porch or stoop when asking for treats.
• Avoid homes that don't have their outside lights turned on.
• Children should travel in small groups and be accompanied by parents or an authorized adult chaperone.
• Children should know their home phone number and their parents' cell phone numbers, when applicable.
• Children should have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.