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Staying safe during the spooky time

Centers for Disease Control, others offer safety tips

Posted: October 29, 2013 4:38 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2013 4:38 p.m.

‘Tis the season for haunts and goblins, for candy and candles, for jack-o-lanterns, ghost stories and memories that can last a lifetime.

But like any holiday, Halloween can be fraught with danger for the unwary or careless.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips to keep kids and adults safe. Others help out with pet safety tips.

Costumes: Make sure they’re safe, with no sharp parts or accessories.

If your child’s costume doesn’t come with light-reflective decorations, add some yourself. Reflective tape on the arms, legs and shoes go a long way to making your child visible after dark.

Avoid masks that obscure your child’s vision. A cool look isn’t worth a big bump.

Trick-or-treating: Make sure each child takes a flashlight. Don’t separate from groups or trick-or-treat alone. When possible, always walk on sidewalks, don’t enter homes of strangers, and approach only well-lighted houses. Look both ways before crossing a street.

Treats: Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering. Limit the amount of treats your child eats at one time. Eat only factory-wrapped treats — avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Health care experts have issued a special warning this year about decorative contact lenses. They pose risks including lifetime eye damage and should be avoided.

For pets, Halloween can mean real scares — not make-believe ones. Frightening noises, agitation as strangers come and go, ringing doorbells and deadly treats make up some of the holiday’s pet hazards.

Keep inside: Experts advise cats and dogs be kept inside Halloween night, black cats in particular. Animals can be the target of cruel pranks, and the noises and activities outside can be disorienting to pets that normally know their way around town.
If you need to take your dog outside, keep it on a leash.

Animals upset about party or trik-or-treating activities should be put in a quiet back room with food, water and a litter box or papers until calm is restored. Frantic childhood activity can be misconstrued as aggressiveness by animals, which may react aggressively, as well.

Toxic: Halloween candy can be toxic to pets. Don’t leave candy out on table tops or other accessible areas. Do not feed candy, even a little bit, to your pets.

Police your candy wrappers, too. Ingested wrappers can lead to emergency surgery or even death.

Costumes: Unless your pet enjoys it, don’t dress up Fido or Fifi for Halloween. Coupled with other factors common at Halloween, such activity can overly stress your pet.




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