As the Halloween festivities begin, State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) reminds families to be safe when trick-or-treating.
"Halloween is a fun time of year for the youngsters as they get to dress up as their favorite characters and collect candy," Senator Farley said. "But it can also be needlessly dangerous if precautions aren't taken."
Senator Farley suggests parents try to find costumes that are not only fashionable but also flame-resistant. If children are at houses where there are open flames or decorations that use candles, the costumes could be a hazard. Senator Farley said parents should look for flame resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester. "Some labels may even state the outfit is 'flame resistant,'" he said. These materials were manufactured to resist burning.
"Keep visibility in mind when purchasing, or making, a costume," Senator Farley said. "Will motorists see your child in the dark? Can your child see well enough through the mask? Parents may want to attach reflective tape to the costume."
Senator Farley also suggests the following Halloween safety tips:
* Parents should not let their children eat any treats before the candy is examined. Unfortunately, there have been incidents in the past where individuals have tampered with candy, and innocent children were harmed. If a child gets fruit as a treat, parents should wash it thoroughly and inspect it closely for possible puncture holes.
* Parents may want to give children flashlights so the beams will give motorists a better idea of where the child is located. Flashlights will also help the child see better in the dark.
* When selecting costumes, parents should find outfits that fit the child well and won't cause the child to trip and fall.
* When expecting trick-or-treaters at your house, please remove obstacles that may trip a child. Also remove any decorations that use flames and could cause the costumes to catch on fire.