Santa Paula Times

Halloween safety tips to ensure the safety of Trick-or-Treaters

October 26, 2005
Santa Paula News

Halloween is Monday night, but it’s a good time to review safety tips to ensure that trick-or-treaters remain safe.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesHalloween is Monday night, but it’s a good time to review safety tips to ensure that trick-or-treaters remain safe. Santa Paula Police Sgt. Carlos Juarez said that many safety tips are just common sense, such as walking and not running and staying on the sidewalks while visiting neighborhood Halloween haunts.“Stay in groups, be visible, and stay out of traffic,” said Sgt. Juarez. “We’ve never had any incidents of people tampering with candy, but once in awhile we’ve had someone hit by a car, and it was the trick-or-treaters’ fault because they ran into traffic.”Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight and never cut across yards or driveways. They should wear costumes that don’t drag on the ground to avoid not only tripping by the wearer but also being stepped on by others, and wear a watch that can be read in the dark.All traffic signals must be obeyed. Kids should stay in neighborhoods familiar to them, and shoes should fit, even if they do not match the costume. Costumes should be flame retardant and have reflective markings or tape; knives, swords or other props must be flexible fakes.Masks must not impair vision, but if they do, make sure the Trick-or-Treater takes it off while walking from house to house. Only approach houses that are lit; and if you are walking on a rural road without a sidewalk, stay on the left side facing traffic. Animals should be avoided and not touched... no matter how friendly that doggy seems at first, it might turn vicious.
A parent or guardian must accompany younger children. Older children should have a cell phone to call home if there’s a problem, and have a strictly adhered to return time. Make sure you know where they’re going before they leave the house.Additionally, make sure that your trick-or-treater eats dinner before leaving the house so they don’t won’t be hungry and fill up on candy. When it comes to the candy, look over the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that doesn’t look right; tampering is rare, but it’s still a good idea to bring candy home for inspection before it is eaten.If you are planning on welcoming trick-or-treaters, make sure your yard is safe and clear of ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip people. Pets can be frightened by trick-or-treaters, so it’s best to make sure they are secure away from the door where they might want to dash out and bite the monster on the front step.Battery-powered Jack O’Lantern candles are readily available and preferable to the real thing. If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where visitors will be walking or standing, and make sure paper or cloth yard decorations are well away from a lit candle.There’s no law that mandates candy for trick-or-treaters: fruit rolls, packages of filled crackers, boxes of cereal for one and packets of raisins are good, healthy alternatives. Think even further outside the Halloween trick-or-treat box and give out non-food treats, such as fun plastic rings, bright stickers, practical unsharpened pencils or erasers, or even the gift everyone loves, pocket change.