Halloween safety tips

ALBANY, NY —  The New York State’s Division of Consumer Protection and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee urge New Yorkers to follow these safety tips to ensure a safe and Happy Halloween:

Pedestrians

  • Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult while trick-o-treating. Older, responsible children should review their route with an adult and agree on a time to return home.

  • Use reflective tape as a trim for costumes, outerwear and even treat bags to make them visible to motorists at dusk and in the dark. Reflective tape is found in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.

  • Cross the street on corners, using crosswalks and adhere to traffic signals.

  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of a motorist.

  • Walk on sidewalks or paths and if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far left as possible.

  • Put electronics down, keep your head up and walk (don’t run) while crossing the street.

Drivers

  • Slow down and take extra care when driving on Halloween, especially in neighborhoods and areas where there may be trick-or-treaters.

  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles. They may be stopping to let trick-or-treaters cross the road or unloading passengers. The visibility of trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians may be obstructed.

  • Always look out for pedestrians, especially before turning at a green light or making a “right turn on red.”

Costumes

  • Look for fabrics labeled “flame resistant” such as nylon or polyester when purchasing costumes, beards, wigs and masks. Flame resistant fabrics are not flame proof but they will resist burning and can be extinguished quickly.

  • If using a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, has eye holes large enough to allow full vision and does not limit hearing.

  • Purchase or make costumes that are light colored, bright and clearly visible to motorists. Dark colored costumes are hard to see at night.

Treats

  • Examine any toys or small items for young children under three years of age that may pose a choking hazard or may separate while in use and present a choking hazard.

  • Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Decorations

  • Use battery operated tea-lights, LED lights or glow sticks instead of an open flame candle for your Jack-o-Lanterns. Keep your decorated Jack-o-Lanterns away from curtains, decorations or other flammable objects that could be ignited. Do not leave an open flame candle unattended.

  • Keep any candles or Jack-o-Lanterns away from landings or doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flames and place them on a sturdy table.

“Halloween is a wonderful fun celebration for kids and adults and to enjoy it we must be aware that safety ought to be our number one priority,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection. “We urge everyone to be mindful and protect our children so the experience of trick- or-treating becomes an enjoyable and safe one.”

“The best way to be safe on Halloween is to be seen,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chair. “We urge all parents to teach their children to wear reflective clothing, carry a light and cross at a crosswalk. Drivers too should know to be extra cautious on Halloween.”

For more consumer protection safety and guidance, go to www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection and for additional information on Traffic and Pedestrian Safety, visit http://safeny.ny.gov.

The New York Division of Consumer Protection is committed to addressing the concerns of consumers in the marketplace through educational programming, consumer advocacy, Do Not Call Law enforcement and representing State utility ratepayers. The Division also provides direct assistance to consumers aggrieved in the marketplace through its voluntary mediation program. Complaints vary from appliance warranties and gift cards to unscrupulous business practices and more. The Division encourages New Yorkers experiencing a marketplace dispute to call the Consumer Helpline or file a complaint.

The Consumer Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection.

The Division can also be reached via @NYSConsumer or www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.