Stay safe this Halloween

Halloween is often filled with more treats than tricks, and health officials are offering up tips to ensure it stays that way.

Here are some tips, courtesy of Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Poison Control and Vancouver Police Department, to keep your Halloween safe:

Dressing up

-Choose a brightly colored outfit and use reflectors, flashlights and glowsticks to ensure you’re visible in the dark.

-Be careful of costumes that light up using small, button batteries, which can be dangerous is swallowed. Make sure the batteries are kept in place by a screw.

-Choose costumes made of fire-resistance materials.

-Beware of tripping and visibility hazards with costumes. Consider makeup instead of masks and costumes short in length.

-If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure it’s obvious it’s fake.

Sweet treats

-Kids shouldn’t eat treats until they’re inspected by an adult.

-Throw away candy that has loose or open wrappers.

-Wash and cut up any fruit before eating.

On the streets

-Kids should be accompanied by an adult while trick-or-treating.

-Make sure kids know their address and phone number in case they get separated from the group.

-If older kids go out in a group, make sure to review safety rules.

-Remind children to never enter strange houses.

-Make sure your porch is well lit for trick-or-treaters. Clear the sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark.

-Place pumpkins away from walkways or doorsteps if you use candles with a flame in jack-o-lanterns.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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