Halloween is approaching quickly and we expect large groups of children out and about that evening. Our primary concern on Halloween, and any other time, is the safety of children. With that in mind, the Dale County Sheriff’s Office would like to offer the following safety tips. It is a good idea to review these with your children before they begin their “trick-or-treat” adventure.
- Fake knives, swords, guns, and other costume accessories can potentially cause injury. Make sure they aren’t too long for the costume and review with your child that they are part of the costume and not a weapon. Make sure they are made out of cardboard or other flexible materials.
- Only purchase costumes and accessories that are marked flame-resistant.
- Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
- Try using make up instead of a mask. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, which can be dangerous for when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
- Costumes with light colors and/or reflective tape are best. Someone in the group should carry a flashlight. Consider putting reflective tape on their bags too.
- Children should always trick-or-treat in groups, rather than alone, preferably with adult supervision and carry a cell phone for quick communication.
- Parents should select the safest route for children to take. Children should stay on sidewalks (where available) or on the shoulder of the roadway facing traffic. Children should avoid walking in the roadway, in alleys or poorly lit areas, and be cautious not to dart from behind shrubs or parked vehicles. Drivers should slow down and use extreme caution, especially in neighborhoods where children are sure to be located.
- Children should be instructed to stop only at familiar homes and where the outside lights are on. They should also be advised to NEVER go into a home or car to collect treats. They should not stop at houses that are dark or do not have the porch lights turned on.
- As an alternative of going door to door, parents should consider taking their children to community sponsored events such as those hosted by community centers, churches, schools, etc.
- Children should not eat any treats until they get home and the parent or adults can examine them.
- Children (and adults) should only consume unopened candies and treats in original wrappers. Treats with open packaging or torn wrappers should be discarded. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade treats for anything that looks suspicious.
Halloween can be a safe and enjoyable evening with a little preparation, communication and diligence. Of course, we will be on patrol and available to you and your children should you need us.
Happy Trick or Treat!
Sheriff Wally Olson