The Richmond Register

October 31, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips

Courtesy of the Richmond Police Department

RICHMOND — Before nightfall on Halloween:

• A good meal prior to trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats before the treats are inspected by parents.

• Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

• Costumes should be flame retardant and short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling. Clothing also should have reflective markings or tape to make children visible to vehicular traffic.

• Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother’s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.

• Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.

• Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be soft and flexible material and easily recognizable as toys rather than weapons.

• Plan and review with your children the route and behavior which is acceptable to you.

• Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.

• Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home.

When trick-or-treating:

• A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

• Remind trick-or-treaters:

 1. To carry a flashlight so they can see and be seen by others.

 2. Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.

 3. Only trick-or-treat in well-known or familiar neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.

 4. Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.

 5. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest wedge of the roadway facing traffic.

 6. Never cut across yards or use alleys.

 7. Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.

 8. Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.

 9. Always walk, never run across a street.

 10. Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks where available.

 11. Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesights before crossing a street, driveway or alley.

 12. Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops doesn’t mean the others will.

 13. Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.

 14. No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.

 15. Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

After trick-or-treating:

• Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items. Discard any homemade candy or baked goods if the source of the treat is not identifiable. Signs of tampering with commercially wrapped treats may include unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in the wrappers.

• Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.

• Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.