Hermiston Fire Chief Pat Hart has a few tips for parents and guardians to keep their youngsters safe during the Halloween holiday Thursday.
Hart said if people follow a few basic guidelines, it will increase the liklihood his firefighters will stay in the firehouse giving out candy instead of responding to accidents.
Our primary concern is that kids stay safe, Hart said. We want everyone to have fun but be safe. Our guys would rather stay in and hand out candy than go out on calls.
Hart had the following safety recommendations for trick-or-treaters:
Wear makeup instead of a mask. Bulky and/or cumbersome masks can obstruct vision and make it hard for children to see potential hazards, Hart said. He said if children do wear masks parents should make sure they fit properly and do not obstruct vision.
Wear costumes and shoes that fit properly to reduce the chance of tripping and/or falling.
Costumes should be fire resistant.
Trick-or-treaters should not run from house to house. They should stay on the sidewalks and be aware of traffic. Trick-or-treaters should avoid walking across lawns as some may have underground sprinkler systems that children can trip over.
Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight or have reflective material on their costumes so cars can see them.
Young children should be under adult supervision at all times.
Parents or guardians should visually inspect candy before consumption by children. Some candy may contain various forms of contamination.
Trick-or-treaters should not accept homemade treats from people they do not know. Hart said unfortunately, people can never know what is in homemade treats. Several cases of contamination have been reported in the past in other parts of the United States, he said.
People should also avoid using candles as decorations, and if they do, Hart recommended they are kept away from combustible materials and are supervised at all times.
Hart recommends adults take children to organized events such as Treats on Main in downtown Hermiston from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. Businesses will be handing out treats for participants before the festivities move to the Hermiston Conference Center for games, food, contests and a haunted house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.