The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is reminding Rhode Islanders about Halloween safety precautions.
Halloween street smarts: - Always accompany young children on their trick-or-treating rounds. Research shows that evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. are the riskiest times of day for child pedestrians. - If your older children are trick-or-treating without you, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home. - Older children should travel in groups and create a "buddy system." - Talk with kids about the risks of distracted walking. This includes texting, talking on or looking at a phone, and listening to music. - Cross the street as a group at crosswalks. - Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic. - Caution kids to never enter a home or a car for a treat.
Costume safety tips: - Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility. - Look for "flame resistant" on the costume labels. Wigs and accessories should also clearly indicate this. - Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes and blocking vision. - Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks. - Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye exam and a prescription from an eye care professional.
Healthy Halloween tips: - Consider offering non-edible goodies to trick-or-treaters (such as spider rings, vampire fangs, pencils, or bubbles). Halloween is one of the trickiest days of the year for children with food allergies. - Wait until children are home to sort and check treats before eating them. - Enjoy sweets in moderation.
Driving: - Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods. - Watch for trick-or-treaters at intersections, medians, and on curbs. - Watch for trick-or-treaters darting from between parked cars. - Enter and exit driveways carefully. - If a teen driver is in your household, consider not allowing that person to drive after dark on Halloween. If you have a teen driver who will be driving, talk about precautions and set specific rules.
Continue to take measures to prevent mosquito bites: This has been a higher-than-average risk year for mosquito-borne diseases, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), in southeastern New England. Rhode Island is still in mosquito season until the first hard frost of the year, which Rhode Island has not had yet. (A hard frost is when temperatures are below 32 degrees for three consecutive hours.) For that reason, Rhode Islanders who will be outdoors on Halloween should continue to take mosquito bite prevention measures. These prevention measures are most important at sundown (and sunrise).
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. - Use EPA-approved bug spray with at least 20% DEET. Alternatively, people can use a bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. People should not use bug spray with DEET on infants under two months of age. - Put mosquito netting over baby carriages.
Visit www.health.ri.gov/mosquito for additional mosquito prevention tips.