Carve the pumpkin, stuff the scarecrow and find that perfect costume. It’s time for the ghosts, goblins and witches to come for a visit. That time of year that most children will claim is one of the favorites, and maybe a few dentists will, too. For police officers, it’s a time to remind everyone of a few safety tips. So here goes:
- While kids might want to pretend to be invisible, choose costumes that make them stand out. Add reflective strips to trick or treat bags, shoes and places on the costume to make sure they don’t blend into the shadows.
- Check those costumes, masks and footwear for fit. Costumes that are too long or footwear that’s too big can cause trip hazards. Masks can create blind spots that prevent kids from clearly seeing what is going on around them.
- Supervision is as important now as ever. Stay with your children as they make their rounds. If older children are going out by themselves, pick a mandatory route and a time when they are expected to return home.
- Make sure you have flashlights and cell phones with good batteries.
- Stay on the sidewalks whenever possible. When going from door to door, don’t run between houses or through the shadows. It’s not just about being respectful, it’s also about avoiding trip hazards the kids might not see.
- When crossing streets, do so in a group. Look both ways and cross streets at established cross walks or at corners. Don’t dart out between cars. Never assume the cars traveling on the roadway see your trick or treater.
- Stay in well lit areas and avoid dark homes that obviously don’t want to participate in the evening’s activities.
- Sort through the candy you receive before allowing the children to start indulging. While tampering with candy really doesn’t happen often, there’s always a chance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Make sure your children stay away from lit candles and luminaries on porches.
- Talk with children about your family plan for what to do if they get separated from you or their group.
We also found one piece of advice for pet owners who are passing out goodies while browsing a few resources– make sure your pets are restrained so they don’t jump on- or worse- bite a trick or treater. This will also assure your dog or cat won’t run out the door and have a mean “trick” played on them or be given an unhealthy treat.