Riggs Ambulance Service and AAA Northern California both offered safety tips for families and others about Halloween.
Tips for safe trick-or-treating from Riggs:
Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe and flame-resistant. On all masks, make sure the eyeholes are large enough for good peripheral vision.
Any Halloween accessories, such as a scythe or a pitchfork, should be smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.
Place some reflective tape on costumes to help children stand out in the dark and make sure each child carries a flashlight.
Remind your kids about the basic everyday safety tips, such as not getting into cars, going into houses or talking to strangers. Remind them to look both ways before crossing streets, cross when lights tell them to, and to use designated crosswalks.
Plan a safe route for trick-or-treating that you are familiar with. If you let your older kids trick-or-treat alone, make sure you know the route they will be walking and set a time when they should return home.
Tell your children to stay on main, well lit sidewalks and never cut through back alleys and fields.
Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.
Remind all children to walk slowly and stay alert. Children should always watch for cars that are turning into or backing out of driveways.
Extra tips for adults from Riggs:
If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that kids' costumes won't accidentally catch fire.
Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism.
Explain to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable.
Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period of 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
Slowly and carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating.
In a separate news release AAA Northern California reminded parents to be extra vigilant of the potential dangers that children face while trick-or-treating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
As part of AAA's commitment to keeping the roads safe on holidays, AAA's Tipsy Tow Program will offer a free tow for drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on Oct. 31, to 6 a.m. on Nov. 1, in Northern California. Members and nonmembers alike can call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow of up to five miles.