Nolan County Sheriff's Office gives Halloween safety tips

Staff Writer

Halloween is an exciting time of year for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties and eat tasty treats.
The Nolan County Sheriff’s Office offers these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

Walk Safely
• Stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
• Carry a cell phone for quick communication. Make sure children know your cell phone number, their home telephone number, and address in case they get separated or dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
• Put electronic devices away and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
• Make eye contact with motorists before crossing in front of their vehicles.
• Remain on well-lit streets and always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
• Never cut across yards or use alleys.
• Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
• Watch for vehicles that are turning or backing up; never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
• Teach children to say “NO!” in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere or leave with them. Teach children to try everything they can to escape, including yelling, hitting, and kicking.
• Children should not accept anything other than a treat.
• Law enforcement should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Trick or Treat With an Adult
• Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you.
• Agree on a specific time when children should return home.
• Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Keep Costumes both Creative and Safe
• Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
• Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
• Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by motorists.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
• Eliminate any distractions inside your vehicle so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
• Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Healthy Halloween
• A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage children from filling up on Halloween treats.
• Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
• Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
• Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.