Health Department Offers Costume Safety Checks and Other Safe Trick-or Treating Tips

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2013

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Every year on Halloween night, children dress up in their favorite costume and walk from house-to-house in search of treats. The Marion County Public Health Department is offering important tips to help all little ghosts and goblins have a safe trick-or-treating experience.

Costumes should be the right size to prevent trips and falls. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. And, have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

As a service to the community, the Marion County Public Health Department will offer free costume inspections at 3901 Meadows Dr. from 3-6 p.m. on Oct. 31. A consumer product safety specialist will check costumes for potential dangers such as trip hazards, obstructed view and choking hazards. Kids will receive a reflector sticker as proof of inspection, safe trick-or-treating information and a spooky treat!

Drivers should be especially alert for kids during trick-or-treating hours. Halloween trick-or-treating hours in Indianapolis are from 6-8 p.m. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Drivers need to slow down in residential neighborhoods and be aware that children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

When the night is over, parents should examine the child’s bag before any candy is eaten. Bags should be checked for small toys like spider rings and other items that could be a choking hazard for kids three years old and younger. Remind children to only eat treats in original, unopened wrappers. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn.

For more information about Halloween safety, or to ask questions, contact the Marion County Public Health Department at 317-221-3360.

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Media Contact:
Curt Brantingham
Media/Public Information Coordinator
317-221-2316 (o) │ 317-525-7450 (c)