Halloween is fast approaching and the need to increase safety awareness for little ghosts and goblins is vital to ensure fun for all. This is the time of year when children dress up in costumes and enjoy candy and treats. Children may also interact with neighbors and homeowners they know. This Halloween the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office wants to help make your ghoulish celebration safe and fun by increasing awareness and safety and by providing safety tips.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
- Children should accept treats only at the doorway of homes.
- Children should never enter a stranger’s home.
- Children should never accept rides from strangers.
- Children should never take short-cuts through backyards, construction areas or alley ways.
- Children should travel in groups of 3-5 people if an adult is not accompanying them.
- Set a time limit for your children to be out on Halloween night.
- Adult escorts and children should carry flashlights, beacons, reflective clothing.
- Children should have all treats carefully inspected before eating them.
- All fruit treats and homemade treats should be discarded unless you know the person handing them out.
- For safety reasons, children should walk and never run during trick-or-treating.
- Props such as toy guns or swords should be made of pliable material to prevent serious injuries.
- Realistic replica firearms should NEVER be used.
- Masks should only be worn if they are properly fitted and provide unobstructed breathing and visibility.
- Children should always use sidewalks whenever possible. Or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe where no sidewalk exist.
- Children should look in all directions before crossing the street.
- Attaching retro-reflective tape, fabric, or decorative patches to costumes and/or trick-or-treat bags allows children to be more visible at night.
A REMINDER FOR MOTORISTS:
- Drivers should be particularly alert on Halloween night and watch for children on streets, alleys, cross-walks and driveways.
- Motorists should slow down while driving through residential areas, and should especially be aware of the increased number of children walking in neighborhoods.
- Motorists should be alert. This is an exciting time for children and the potential for kids to dart out into traffic is heightened.
- Motorists should be extremely careful backing out of driveways and parking lots. Children, especially the small ones, are hard to see at night. Drivers should make sure their path is clear to avoid any avoidable accidents.
Halloween is an ideal time for social events. If drivers intend to celebrate, the Sheriff’s Office would like to remind them not to drink and drive. All motorists should plan ahead, have a designated driver or should call a taxi.
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS:
- Candlelit jack-o-lanterns should be avoided to prevent accidental fires with costumes.
- If jack-o-lanterns are candlelit inside of a residence, make sure they are kept away from flammable material, curtains and decorations.
- Creepy contact lenses have become popular in recent years, such as cat eyes or snake eyes. Improper use and clear contact lenses can lead to painful eye infections and even vision loss.
- False eyelashes and costume makeup can also irritate eyes. Follow the package directions on how to apply and remove safely.
- Makeup should be used in place of masks. Masks can obstruct children’s vision and can be dangerous when crossing streets or going up and down steps.
- Only purchase costumes that are flame retardant, so children are not in danger near burning decorative objects.
- Keep pets inside your home, or another safe place on Halloween night.
- Trick-or-treaters should avoid animals or pets which may become upset by masks and costumes.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to the community’s quality of life, health, education, and safety. Our goal is to help prevent unintentional injuries during the Halloween holiday.
More information is available at www.cdc.gov/family/halloween .
If you have additional questions or concerns about Halloween safety, please contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 388-6655.
Lt. Deron McMaster – 541-312-6408
October 29, 2013