Halloween safety isn’t tricky

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2005

Beastly boys and little ghouls are just days away from collecting sacks of sweets, and area police have a bit of advice for staying out of harm’s way on Halloween.

“Don’t get so excited about candy that you forget about safety,” said Sgt. Tod McGillivray with the Soldotna Police Department.

McGillivray has several tips for children, parents and other chaperons during the house-hopping holiday.

“Young kids should be accompanied by parents,” he said. McGillivray added that older children should not go alone either, even if autonomous enough to go without a guardian.

“There is safety in numbers and they should go in either small, or preferably, large groups,” he said in regard to older children and teens.

McGillivray also said that Halloween night is a busy time for motorist and pedestrian traffic, even in residential areas.

“Things are really cranking from about 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and anything past that is a little late to be out,” he said.

Although many costumes may include dark colors or black capes, McGillivray recommended children think about visibility.

“It’s a good idea to wear light-colored clothing, add reflective tape or materials, use glow sticks or carry flash lights — basically anything that motorists can see,” he said.

McGillivray also recommended using sidewalks where they are available, and staying to the side of the road when they are not.

Kelly George, an investigator with the Kenai Police Department, also reminds children not to walk across people’s yards, or cut through backyards where a dog may be. Instead he said children should use established paths and walkways.

George also pointed out that although Halloween can be an exciting time for kids, they shouldn’t run from door to door.

Running near the road just makes things more challenging for motorists. Also, many costumes may not fit properly, or have tiny holes in masks for vision, so running could lead to a trip, fall or other injury, he said.

Although getting into the treats right away can be tempting, McGillivray said parents should be diligent in inspecting all candy first.

“Go through and look to be sure none of the wrappers have been tampered with,” he said. He also said trick-or-treaters shouldn’t take homemade treats from anyone unless they come from family friends.

George said following these safety tips can better ensure a positive and fun-filled night for everyone, whether trick-or-treating or attending fall harvest carnivals.

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