base information

Halloween safety tips

The 99th Dental Squadron is encouraging Airmen and their family members to develop an oral hygiene plan when eating candy during Halloween in order to prevent cavities. For cavities to form, four specific factors must be present concurrently: a susceptible tooth surface, cavity-forming bacteria, sugar and time. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jason Couillard)

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MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Halloween is an exciting time for our youth. It's a time when imaginations run wild, allowing us to celebrate the onset of fall.

This Halloween, as with any, kids will run up and down the streets with their primary focus being candy and not safety.

Children lose their situational awareness as they're overwhelmed by the excitement of costumes and candy, leading to a staggering fact. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as on any other day of the year.

While unnerving to most parents, there are many safety precautions that you can take before bringing your children out trick-or-treating. Some of these precautions are as follows:

When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child's vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.

Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

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.

Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Following these simple but effective safety steps will greatly reduce your child's risk of succumbing to a vehicle mishap. On the same note, as you find yourself driving on the roads Halloween night, pay extra attention to your surroundings.

Whether you are passing out candy or taking the kids trick-or-treating, be sure to enjoy the festivities and have a safe and happy Halloween.