Halloween is just days away. One of the most popular holidays in this country, masses of little superheroes, cartoon and television characters will soon be out in their neighborhoods for trick or treat fun. The American Red Cross has tips parents can follow to help keep the kids safe while enjoying the festivities.
Trick-or-treaters need to see and be seen. Use face makeup instead of masks which could make seeing difficult. Give trick-or-treaters a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. If possible, have everyone wear light-colored clothing.
• Use flame-resistant costumes.
• Make sure adults know where the kids are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door.
• Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
• Walk, don’t run.
• Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door and never go inside.
• Walk only on sidewalks, not in the street. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars, and don’t cut across yards or use alleys.
• Drivers — use extra caution as youngsters may forget to look both ways before crossing.
• A grown-up should check all goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and remove any choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.
If you are planning to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home, follow these safety steps:
• Light the area well so young visitors can see.
• Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.
FIRE RESPONSE & SAFETY
American Red Cross volunteers responded to 11 home fires in Decatur, Marion, Mattoon, Ramsey, Salem, Sesser, Springfield, Staunton and Waltonville in the past week and provided assistance to 41 individuals, including 22 children, through supplying them with basic items to meet immediate needs after a fire, and additional support in the form of health and mental health services and one-on-one support.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: (877) 597-0747.
Home fires are the most frequent disaster and claim seven lives every day in the U.S. Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death in a home fire by 50 percent. To help protect your household, test your smoke alarms each month and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes. Visit redcross.org/fire for more information.
Download the Red Cross Emergency app for detailed home fire prevention and safety tips. Visit redcross.org/apps or search “American Red Cross” in app stores to download the app, which is compatible with Apple Watch and Android wearable devices.
If you would like to help people affected by home fires and other disasters, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to sign up as a Red Cross disaster volunteer.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RedCrossIL.