LITTLE ROCK – Many families look forward to the Halloween season each year, as children toting plastic pumpkins heavy with candy walk through neighborhoods dressed as princesses and pirates.
Even adults and parents get into the Halloween spirit by decorating their homes for parties.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert today to remind parents of a few ways they can protect their children.
"Even the most seasoned parents should review safety tips as the holiday approaches," McDaniel said. "Let’s keep our children safe this year so that we can all enjoy the excitement of Halloween."
McDaniel joins the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in urging parents and party-goers to follow these precautions:
• Select flame-resistant materials, masks, beards and wigs.
• Minimize exposure to open flames, such as jack-o-lantern candles, by selecting costumes without baggy sleeves and billowing skirts.
• Choose costumes with light, bright colors whenever possible.
• Consider trimming darker costumes with reflective tape.
• Apply makeup to children’s faces instead of selecting loose-fitting masks that might restrict vision.
• Swords, knives and other accessories should be made of soft and flexible materials.
• Children and parents should wear sturdy, comfortable shoes with low heels.
McDaniel also wants to make consumers aware of a warning from the Arkansas Optometric Association to never purchase or wear decorative contact lenses without a prescription and proper medical evaluation. Contact lenses used as fashion or costume accessories can severely damage eyes.
• Adults should always accompany small, excitable children to caution them against running into streets and across lawns. Children should use sidewalks where available.
• Have children carry flashlights.
• Children should never enter homes unless accompanied by an adult.
• Take children to familiar neighborhoods and approach only homes with outside lighting.
• Urge children to wait until they get home to eat candy so that adults can inspect their goodies.
• Parents should throw away any treats that aren’t commercially wrapped or appear to be tampered with.
• Keep candlelit jack-o-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes may brush against flames.
• Indoor lanterns should be kept away from curtains, furnishings and other decorations that could ignite.
• Don’t overload extension cords.
For more information about consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website at www.GotYourBackArkansas.org or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.