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Being safe this Halloween
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Halloween safety tips

Decorating Safely
• Choose costumes and decorations that are flame-resistance or flame-retardant and avoid placing flammable materials such as hay bales, corn stocks and paper decorations near a heat source.
• Keep flammable materials such as decorations, dried flowers, etc., away from heat sources including light bulbs and heaters.
• Keep exits clear of decorations and props so nothing blocks escape routes.
• Use battery-operated candles in jack-o’-lanterns and when decorating pathways and yards.
• Teach your children who are going to parties and haunted houses to look for the exits and have a way out in case of an emergency. Walk Safely.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
• Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
• Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
• Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. Trick or Treat With an Adult.
• Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
• When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. Purchase only ones that are labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
• Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
• When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Drive Extra Safely on Halloween.
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
• Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
• Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours. For more tips on how to keep kids safe on Halloween and throughout the year, visit

It is almost that time again for the goblins and ghouls to be roaming the streets of Great Bend.
This time of year is fun for all ages, whether it is decorating for Halloween, going out in your favorite costume and getting sweats to eat, or checking out the local haunts. But this fun can bring on certain hazards.
Being safe during Halloween is something everyone should take part in, especially children.
“Our big concern is traffic,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. “Kids and drivers not looking were they are going, that is where we have our biggest issue.”
The busiest road in Great Bend is Broadway Avenue, traffic on this road can get pretty congested during trick or treating according to the Bellendir.
According to Safe Kids Kansas and the state fire marshal, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Drivers need to slow down and be extra alert, especially in neighborhoods, as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks. Kids may be focused on gathering candy and the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office will have extra officers patrolling the smaller communities, making sure people are being safe and looking out for vandalism.
Fire hazards are also a concern for this time of the year, not only for the residence but for people wearing costumes. They could get to close and the costume could catch on fire.
“Our concern this time of the year is with candles in Jack-o’-lanterns," Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano said. “Its better to use the flame less candles.”
Candy can also be a concern for parents, and should be check before allowing children to eat it.
According to the FDA, children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out, don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their loot before they eat any of it. Tell children not to accept and especially not to eat anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.