Keeping Everyone Safe This Halloween

October 20, 2010

Halloween is just a few short days away. It goes without much saying that October 31st brings a lot of fun and excitement to children of all ages. Because of that excitement, it is important that we keep an extra eye out for ghosts and goblins when traveling this Sunday to ensure that all the trick or treaters have an enjoyable and safe experience as they go from house to house.

Safety tips cannot be stressed enough. The last thing we would ever want is for something tragic to happen. That is why police departments from across the nation provide safety tips for children, parents and homeowners as Halloween night approaches.
As a police officer for the past 21 years I believe the following tips will assist in making everyone’s Halloween a safe and fun night for all those trick and treaters.

Among the tips that we stress are as follows:

For Parents

Know who your children are going trick or treating with. Have the cell phone # of the adult watching them.
Inspect the candy and treats that your children bring home before allowing them to eat it.
If you are driving during prime trick or treating hours, use extreme caution. Children may not always look both ways even if you do!

If you decide to not distribute treats, turn your porch lights off. Please teach your children to avoid homes with the porch lights off.

Check your children’s bags before they leave. Don’t let them take lighters, matches, firecrackers, baseball bats, eggs, water balloons, 9:00 PM is an appropriate time for children to stop trick or treating. Teach them to adhere to this out of respect for your neighbors.

Teach your children (especially the older ones) to respect the property of others.

For Children

If you are trick or treating without a parent or older sibling, make sure your parent knows the streets you will be walking.
Don’t trick or treat alone. Always go with a friend or parent. At the end of the night, make sure someone picks you up or drops you off at home.

Only visit homes with porch lights on or other Halloween decorations.

Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, stay as close to the side of the road as possible. Cross the road at locations where oncoming cars can see you in advance.
Have a parent check your candy when you get home before eating it.

For Residents

Clear all hazards from the front of your property. Remove garden hoses, flower pots, or anything that may be a trip hazard for children as they run from house to house.

If you decide to not distribute treats, turn your porch lights off.

If you leave your home, make sure doors and windows are locked.
If you see a suspicious adult or vehicle in your neighborhood, please call your local police department. Give a clear and accurate description/location.

Keep your pets away from the front door. No matter how well behaved they are, constant doorbell ringing, yelling, and masks may cause them undue stress and a possible reaction.

They also recommend that costumes are fully inspected before venturing out by making sure masks have big enough holes to breathe and hear traffic as it comes by. In addition, trick or treaters should always take off a mask before crossing a street and apply reflective tape so that vehicles see you should a costume be hard to see.

By keeping these tips in mind, the safety of everyone will be enhanced on Halloween. That leads me to my final tip…Have fun!