If the ghosts and goblins can't see, or if they fall flat on their fantastic faces, Halloween's treats won't seem quite so sweet.
A coalition of Kansas health officials cautions parents to beware of Halloween hazards on Monday, such as uneven pavement, high steps, cumbersome costumes, dark, unfamiliar surroundings and low-slung clothes lines, all of which can increase the risks of accidental injuries on Halloween.
"The worst thing, I would think, is costumes with guns," said Scott Witschorke, manager of Fun and Games, 816 Mass.
Witschorke said the toy guns he sells are orange and green -- designed to be obviously fake so they can't be mistaken for real guns. That's an error he's afraid could get a trick-or-treater killed.
The Kansas SAFE KIDS Coalition offers these trick-or-treat safety tips:
- Instead of using loose-fitting masks that can obstruct vision, have children wear face paint or cosmetics.
- If a mask is worn, make sure it fits securely. Cut the eye holes large enough for full vision.
- Use flashlights.
- Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping.
- Secure hats so they will not slip over the eyes.
- Wear shoes that fit. Parents' oversized shoes and high heels are not safe.
- Accompany young children on their trick-or-treat rounds.
- When driving, watch for children.
- Teach children to exit and enter the car on the curb side, away from traffic.
- Attach the name, address and phone number, with area code, to the child's clothes, but not in an easily visible place.
- Teach children their phone numbers, and make sure they have change for a phone call in case of problems.
- Tell children to travel only in familiar areas and along preestablished routes.