MADISON (WKOW) -- From the Department of Consumer Protection:
"Homeowners can protect children on Halloween by having a clear and well lit pathway for trick-or-treaters," says Janet Jenkins, administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection. "Keep your yard clear of hoses, ladders, and rakes. And put carved/candle pumpkins where they cannot start fires. Battery Jack O'Lanterns are safer."
Jenkins says costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping. And make sure costume fabric is labeled fire-resistant. Children are safest in light-colored outfits clearly visible to motorists. Costumes can be made even safer by adding reflective tape available in bike shops or hardware stores. And remember that children can easily trip when wearing adult shoes such as high heels.
Sharp objects such as toy swords, knives, and pitchforks may cause injury. The best accessory is a flashlight.
Be certain that hats, masks and wigs don't obstruct vision. "Better yet, paint faces with safe cosmetics," says Jenkins. Young children should have adult supervision and all children should be reminded to stay on sidewalks and not run out from between parked cars.
And children should be told not to eat any treats before coming home. Parents should carefully examine all treats for signs of tampering, and discard anything not sealed in its original packaging.
For consumer advice and to report unsafe products, contact the toll free hotline of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: (800) 422-7128.