12 Safety Tips for a Booooo-ti-ful Halloween!

Halloween is approaching and it’s safest to plan well in advance. It’s fun to dress up and collect candy, but there’s nothing fun about getting hurt! Children are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year. By following these simple tips, everyone can enjoy the holiday without injury.

  1. Use only flame-resistant costumes.
  2. Plan the trick-or-treat route – make sure adults know where children are going. Set a time when older children must return home. Children under 12 years old should not trick-or-treat unsupervised.
  3. Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give them a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to help be seen.
  4. Use face paint instead of masks that can potentially obstruct vision.
  5. Swords and wands should be short and flexible.
  6. The FDA recommends consulting an eye doctor before using colored contact lenses. Non-prescription contact lenses can cause permanent vision impairment.
  7. Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
  8. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  9. Make sure an adult checks the treats before eating. Remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.
  10. Drivers – use extra caution. Excited kids may forget to look both ways before crossing.
  11. People distributing candy should turn lights on to provide visibility and remove any tripping hazards, such as a garden hose. If snow is on the ground, shovel a path.
  12. Download the American Red Cross Emergency App for free. It provides immediate access to weather updates and information on treating common first aid emergencies.

Post by Caroline Nelson/American Red Cross Minnesota Region 

Safety tips for a winter storm

rco_blog_img_winter-storm-snow-plowThis winter’s first blizzard is expected to blow across western Minnesota, bringing snow, wind, and rain to much of the state. Today is the day to prepare. We encourage everyone to follow the safety tips below to stay safe during the storm.

COLD SAFETY TIPS People are urged to stay inside during this storm. To stay safe during this dangerous weather, follow these steps:

  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm.
  • Be extremely careful if you have to shovel snow. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
  • Remember your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available in your app store. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.

POWER OUTAGE If someone is going to use a generator, they should never use it indoors, even in a garage, carport, basement or crawlspace. Fumes from the generator can be deadly.

  • Use flashlights for light, not candles.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Check refrigerated food for spoilage and if in doubt, throw it out. Your refrigerator will keep cold for about 4 hours. If the freezer is full, it will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Have coolers on hand and surround your food with ice in the cooler or refrigerator to keep food cold for a longer period of time.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics to avoid damaging them when the power is restored.
  • Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
    Watch animals and keep them under your direct control.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

Click here for more winter storm preparedness tips, checklists and other resources in our disaster and safety online library. 

Red Cross safety tips for ghosts and goblins this Halloween

ghostcostEven zombies and vampires need to know how to celebrate safely. Check out the Red Cross tips below and share them with your favorite super hero or princess this Halloween.

COSTUME SAFETY Whether the little one wants to be a ghost, a princess or a superhero, parents can help keep them safe by following some costume advice:

  • Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to be seen.
  • Use flame-resistant costumes.
  • Use face makeup instead of masks, which can cover your eyes and make it hard to see.

SAFE TRICK-OR-TREATING To maximize safety, plan the route ahead of time. Make sure adults know where children are going. If the children are young, a parent or responsible adult should accompany them as they make their way around the neighborhood.

Other safety tips to follow include:

  • Make sure trick-or-treaters have a flashlight to see where they are going and be seen by drivers.
  • Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door—never go inside.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner.
  • Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • It’s not only vampires and monsters people have to look out for. Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.

WELCOMING THE KIDS If someone is manning the candy giveaway at their house, they can make sure it’s a fun night for all by doing the following:

  • Make sure the outdoor lights are on.
  • Sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
  • Restrain the pets.
  • Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Use extra caution if driving. The youngsters are excited and may forget to look both ways before crossing

MG2_IconFIRST AID APP Download the free Red Cross First Aid App. Users receive instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies whenever and wherever they need it. Use the Emergency App for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

MONSTER GUARD APP Download the free Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App, a game that helps kids learn how to save lives. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 learn ways to prepare and stay safe in home fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other disasters by role-playing as different monster characters.