Courtesy of the Redwood City Police Department
Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids, but sometimes a worrisome one for parents.
Concerns about children's safety - whether they are out in the neighborhood or back home with bags of booty - can darken the day more quickly than a black cat.
But not to worry! To make Halloween a treat, follow these safety tips.
- Welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights on.
- Patrol your street occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and crimes against children.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police department immediately.
- Do not give homemade or unwrapped treats to children.
Exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle. Be on the alert for excited youngsters, whose vision may be obscured by masks, darting out into traffic.
TRICK OR TREAT TIPS:
Make sure your kids dress up safely!
- Make sure costumes are flame-retardant so children aren't in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns.
- Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.
- Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable, and they can also obstruct a child's vision - a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
- Make sure kids wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
Make trick-or-treating trouble free:
- Create a map of a safe trick-or treating route and set a time limit for your children to trick-or-treat.
- Trick-or-treaters should always be in groups so they aren't a tempting target for real-life goblins. Parents should accompany young children.
- Make sure older kids trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so you will know where they are going. Tell them to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
- Try to get your kids to trick-or-treat while it's still light out. If it's dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well-lighted streets.
- Do not go inside anyone’s home. Remain on the porch at all times.
- Do not accept rides from strangers.
- Remind kids to keep a safe distance from moving cars.
- Cross only at street corners - never between parked cars, and never diagonally across an intersection.
- Look in all directions before crossing the street, and obey all traffic signals. Walk - never run - across the street, and use sidewalks, not the street, for walking.
- Do not take shortcuts through backyards, alleys or parks.
- Do not eat any treats until parents have inspected them.
- Discard any homemade or unwrapped treats.
Check all treats before eating:
- It's hard for kids to hold back from eating their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while they're still out is to feed them a meal or a snack beforehand.
- Check out all candy in a well-lighted place when your trick-or-treater gets home.
- What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don't forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means, remind kids not to eat everything at once or they'll be feeling pretty ghoulish for a while!
- Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and kids alike - if everybody remembers the tricks and treats of playing it safe.
A note to parents:
- Make sure your children’s costumes are not flammable.
- Do not permit your children to wear cumbersome, floor-length or vision-impairing costumes.
- Reflectorized stripes make your costume more visible.
- In lieu of masks, we recommend face make-up.
- Wear comfortable, safe shoes.
- Call 9-1-1 if you suspect any tainted candy.
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