WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Halloween is such a great holiday and brings out the fun side in kids. But, CPSC is warning parents that on Halloween night, danger can also come in disguise. Last year there were an estimated 4,600 reports of Halloween-related injuries, an increase from 3,500 in the previous year. Incidents involving falls, lacerations, and suffocation sound like scenes from a scary movie, but they are not. Halloween-related incidents can result from the hazards posed by flammable and ill-fitting costumes and accessories, combustible decorations, open flames, and sharp pumpkin carving tools. These incidents are preventable.
Pumpkin carving was associated with more than 60 percent of Halloween-related injuries in 2012. Consumers should create a stable base and use the appropriate tools to prevent cuts and lacerations. Additional tips can be found here, on CPSC's OnSafety blog.
CPSC recommends these safety tips to help make this year's holiday safe:
- Outside your home, use flameless candles or keep burning candles and jack-o'-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps, where trick-or-treaters' costumes could brush against the flame.
- Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
- When indoors, keep candles and jack-o'-lanterns away from curtains, other decorations, and other items that could ignite. Do not leave burning candles unattended.
- Whether indoors or outside, use only decorative light strands that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.
- To prevent burns, the federal Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) requires costumes sold at retail to be flame resistant. When purchasing costumes, masks, beards, and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics, such as nylon or polyester; or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
- Consumers can create similar protection with homemade costumes by choosing synthetic fabrics that are inherently flame resistant, such as nylon and polyester.
- To reduce the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves, large capes, or billowing skirts.
- Purchase or make costumes that are brightly colored and clearly visible to motorists.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes and treat bags with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be brightly colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
- Children should carry flashlights to be able to see and be seen.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. High heels are not a good idea.
- Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing their vision.
- If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has holes large enough to allow full vision.
- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.
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SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission