Keep boys and ghouls safe this Halloween

Ghostly figures dangle from the tree of  Master Sgt. Craig Musselman, 10th Combat Weather Squadron operations superintendent, at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 15, 2013. Several base housing residents have decorated their homes in anticipation for Halloween. Trick-or-treating will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31 in base housing. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. John Bainter)

Ghostly figures dangle from the tree of Master Sgt. Craig Musselman, 10th Combat Weather Squadron operations superintendent, at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 15, 2013. Several base housing residents have decorated their homes in anticipation for Halloween. Trick-or-treating will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31 in base housing. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. John Bainter)

HURLBURT FIELD Fla. -- With several injuries being reported annually, it's imperative to follow safety tips to avoid becoming a Halloween statistic.

Pumpkin carving accidents, flammable costumes, and motor vehicle accidents are just some of the ways people get injured on or around Halloween.

When it comes to carving pumpkins, pumpkin carving kits are recommended in place of sharp knives. To reduce the risk of an accidental injury, leave the carving to adults.

It's not all about the pumpkins though; Halloween costumes can be dangerous if improperly worn, whether they are homemade or store bought.

Since 1980, one child died and at least 16 suffered burn injuries as a result of their Halloween costume catching fire, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

To reduce the risk, look for flame-resistant fabrics like nylon or polyester. If making your own costume, chose flame retardant fabrics.

Masks can also add an element of danger to a child's Halloween ensemble. Ensure children can see and breathe through their masks before heading out for trick-or-treating.
Unfortunately, the risks don't stop there.

The treats children collect during trick-or-treating can also pose a threat. Check all candy for tampering before letting the little goblins dig in. Also, keep hard candy away from small children; it can be a choking hazard.

On base, Security forces personnel will run additional patrols to ensure pedestrian's safety during trick-or-treating, which is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct 31 in base housing.

"Even though the biggest worries on Halloween night are lurking strangers and poisoned candy, the biggest cause of injury and death to kids is traffic accidents," said Staff Sgt. Michael Cochran, 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron police services NCO in charge.

Remember, the speed limit in all housing areas is 15 mph, Cochran said.

"If you are driving, look out for kids running and crossing the street," he said. "[Escorts,] help children avoid busy roads and intersections."

Parents can also add reflective material or flashing lights to a costume to increase visibility and reduce the risk of being hit by a car.