Halloween Safety Tips
Fall is upon us and as you know it is that time of year where many people both young and old put on their best costumes to head out to celebrate Halloween. To ensure that this Halloween is a day of fun-filled event the members of the Southwick Police Department would like to offer our residents some tips on how to make this a safe holiday.
• Before children start out on their ‘trick or treat’ rounds, parents should:
• Make sure an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
• It’s best to take the little ones out early.
• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow and know the names of older children’s companions.
• Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
• Cross only at corners; never dart out between parked cars.
• Cover one side of the street at a time, no crisscrossing.
• Never accept a ride in a car.
• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and NEVER to enter a stranger’s home.
• NEVER allow your children to go through a backyard to get to a home.
• NEVER allow your children go to a back door at a house.
• Establish a return time. Know the neighborhoods they will be visiting. Have the children stay in groups.
• Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home and the treats are checked by an adult.
• Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety rules & precautions, including pedestrian & traffic safety rules.
• Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address & phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
• Make sure your own home is well lit and that there is a clear path to the door. Items such as bicycles, lawn furniture, electrical cords and Halloween decorations can trip Trick-or-Treaters walking in the dark.
• Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
• Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
• Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional Halloween injuries.
• If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children visible. Use flashlights for extra visibility.
• Children should wear sturdy footwear and temperature appropriate clothing under their costumes.
ON THE WAY
• Children should understand and follow these rules:
• DO NOT enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
• WALK, do not run, from house to house. DO NOT cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
• WALK on sidewalks, not in the street. WALK on the left side of the road, facing traffic in areas where there are no sidewalks.
• Watch for children and adults darting from between parked cars.
• Watch for children and adults walking in roadways, along sidewalks and in parking areas.
• Enter & exit driveways, side streets and alleys carefully.
• At twilight & later in the evening, watch for pedestrians in dark clothing.
• Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
• When buying special Halloween make-up, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Additives”, “Laboratory Tested”, “Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics”, or “Non-Toxic”. Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
• If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
• Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
• Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
• Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
• To ensure a safe Trick-or-Treat outing, parents are urged to:
• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Throw out anything that appears tampered with, homemade or home-packaged foods unless you are certain of the source.
• Inspect fruit closely and take away treats that may not be age appropriate. Young children may choke on things like hard candy or peanuts.
• Wash fruits and slice into small pieces.
• Be aware of food allergies.
• When in doubt, throw it out
Thank-you Chief Dave Ricardi