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Attorney General gives consumers Halloween safety tips

Submitted by Chelsey McNiel on October 30, 2012 – 12:02 pmNo Comment
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued  an alert Oct. 24 informing consumers how to avoid unexpected and unnecessary Halloween scares.
“Consumers invest time and money into Halloween, hoping that they and their children have a fun and memorable experience,” McDaniel said. “Fortunately, there are ways consumers can keep the Halloween scares in haunted houses and in movies, so that they can have an enjoyable time with their friends and families.”
Americans will spend about $8 billion this year on costumes, candy and other Halloween activities like haunted houses and hayrides, according to The National Retail Federation. The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to exercise caution when shopping at seasonal or specialty stores that close shortly after Halloween, according to The Better Business Bureau. Buyers are also encouraged to track the store’s yearly records and read its refund and return policy or costume rental agreement.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to follow these Halloween safety tips:
  • Make sure children do not eat any treats collected while trick-or-treating without the treat first being carefully examined by an adult for evidence of tampering.
  • Buy flame-resistant costumes, masks and wigs; and avoid baggy, or flimsy, costumes that would increase the risk of contact with candles or other ignition sources.
  • Children should carry flashlights, in order to be easily seen by motorists. Parents should also consider adding reflective tape to costumes, so that the tape will glow in the beam of a vehicle’s headlights.
  • To avoid tripping and falling, choose costumes that fit well and don’t drag the ground.
  • Use cosmetics instead of masks so that a child’s vision is not obstructed. In case masks are used, make sure they fit securely, have adequate ventilation and provide unobstructed views.
  • Know that wearing decorative contact lenses can be risky. The Food and Drug Administration recommends consumers have prescriptions, even for decorative lenses, and asks consumers not to buy from novelty stores or Halloween stores.
  • When decorating, keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against them and catch fire.
  • Make sure all obstacles are removed from walkways, steps and porches so that trick-or-treaters don’t stumble.

For more information about consumer issues, visit GotYourBackArkansas.org or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-482-8982.

 

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