NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Halloween is a time for kids to get dressed up as their favorite character, superhero, or villain, and take to the streets asking for candy and scaring one another silly.
With all the fun that comes with Halloween, Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) are encouraged to take precautions while taking children trick-or-treating or attending Halloween-themed parties.
“Unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of Halloween night,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Betty Lowman. “People can hide behind costumes and masks and it’s acceptable at this time of year. You won’t always know who is around you at any given point that day.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released safety tips for parents taking their children trick-or-treating this year:
Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always walk and don’t run from house to house.
Always test makeup in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible eye irritation.
Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
Walk on sidewalks whenever possible or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
Eat only factory wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses.
Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
Sailors with children are encouraged to check their local laws and guidelines for trick-or-treating in their area. Around Hampton Roads, most cities require that all trick-or-treating finish by 8:00 p.m. on Halloween and that only children 12 years old or younger participate in trick-or-treating.
Although Halloween is typically thought of as a holiday for children, plenty of adults also celebrate the holiday with Halloween-themed or costume parties.
“There’s probably going to be a lot of Halloween parties around this time, so Sailors should remember to be responsible and have a plan,” said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class Tim Sunderman, a Sailor in the ship’s Safety Department. “If Sailors get too intoxicated to drive, they should call a friend or call an Uber or Lyft. Just don’t drink and then drive anywhere. The George Washington Safe Ride program is another option Sailors can utilize in situations like that as well.”
Whether you’re a parent taking your child trick-or-treating, or simply going to a Halloween party, have a plan, be safe, and enjoy the tradition that brings in lots of sweet treats.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.