Halloween Safety

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    Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little troublesome. Concerns about children’s safety can cast a spell on the evening’s festivity. Following a few safety tips will ensure that Halloween will be a good time for all.

    Before children start out on their trick or treat rounds, parents should:

    • Make sure an adult or older responsible youth will be supervising children under
      age 12.
    • Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters will follow.
    • Tell your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and
      never to enter a stranger’s home.
    • Establish a return time.

    For Older Children

    • Instead of letting your older kids get bored or even mischievous this Halloween, try alternatives to trick or treating.
    • Put your older children in charge of distributing treats to neighborhood kids. Or, have them help make Halloween safe for others by volunteering to supervise neighborhood children or younger siblings as they go door-to-door.
    • Allow older children to host a Halloween sleepover at your home. Rent scary movies and have plenty of snacks available.

    Costumes:trick or treaters

    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.
    • Strips of reflective tape on costumes will make children more visible.
    • 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.
    • Consider using facial make-up instead of masks that can obstruct a child’s vision.

    The Columbia Police Department urges citizens to be alert on Halloween.

    When driving:

    • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
    • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
    • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

    At home:

    • Remove trip hazards from your front yard and sidewalks.
    • Restrain aggressive or overly-friendly pets before opening the door to trick or treaters.