Police offer Halloween safety tips

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Children, parents, drivers should use caution on Halloween

Halloween is a time for children to dress in costumes and to go trick-or-treating, but they need to follow several safety tips.

"Halloween is a fun and exciting evening for your children," said Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief. "Let's make sure as adults that we make it safe for them."

Adults should make sure their yard and porch are safe areas for young children to approach the door when they are trick-or-treating, Kammerlohr said. They need to remove any items children could trip over and make sure the area is lighted.

"We caution using candles with any flame as they can catch costumes on fire," she said.

Drivers should be more aware of their surroundings and drive slower the evening of Halloween.

Young children who are in costumes may not be able to see as well and may walk out in front of a vehicle, Kammerlohr said. It will be dark and the trick-or-treaters may not be seen as they walk from house to house.

"Please have your young children supervised by a responsible adult as they go from house to house," she said. "It is not recommended for them to be dropped off at one end of the block then picked up down the street."

Children and their parents should walk on well-lighted streets, Kammerlohr said. If the street does not have a sidewalk, children need to be on the inside or to the parents' right to where drivers see the parents first. Children and their parents should also wear something reflective, so traffic can see them.

"If the costume is not reflective, you should put reflective tape or glow sticks on the costume to make sure your child can be seen," she said.

Parents should always check the candy before their child eats any pieces, Kammerlohr said. It is recommended that the child be given a meal before they go out to trick or treat, so they will be full and not tempted to sample as they go.

Parents should make sure their child can see well when wearing costumes, she said. Painted faces are recommended over a mask.

"Teach your child to call 911 or ask an adult to call 911 if they get separated from you," Kammerlohr said. "We hope that everyone will have a fun and safe Halloween."

A lot of children go to community events during Halloween, which Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said he thinks is a good idea.

"If [children] are traveling to neighborhood to neighborhood, they need to be safe [and use caution] walking the streets because it's dark," he said.

Epperly also said drivers should be on high alert because of the influx of children near the roads. He said children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult, and children trick-or-treating without supervision should keep to well-lit areas and avoid going out alone.

"Teach your children to never enter a stranger's home and give your children flashlights with fresh batteries to help them see and help others see them," Epperly said. "Agree on a specific time for your child to be home, and make sure the child has a cell phone."

Epperly said parents should also inspect all treats before allowing children to eat any of them, and only allowing children to eat factory-wrapped treats.

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