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NPPD Crime Prevention Tip:

Halloween Safety Tips


This year, when planning your Halloween celebration, consider the age and maturity level of your children when deciding what activity you will allow them to participate in.  Obviously young children need to be accompanied by an adult, but so do may pre-teens and teenagers that are less mature.  If you do allow a teen to participate in Halloween fun with out you, make sure you know who he or she will be with.  Ask yourself:  Do I know that friend?; is that friend a leader or follower?; does he or she make sound decisions?; are they prone to horseplay?.  Remember a good kid can go off the straight and narrow when in the company of others teens that may make poor decisions.   

Consider planning a party or participating in a costume parade rather then the traditional door-to-door trick or treating. Many communities have encouraged these alternatives as safe and adult regulated activities.  The danger of contact with anti-social deviants is reduced, although never eliminated.  Some communities have even banned trick or treating or enacted ordinances, proclamations, or resolutions restricting trick or treating.  Check with your local municipal police department for details. 

If you do allow door-to-door trick-or-treating make sure the children are in the company of an adult.  Only the most mature, responsible teens should ever be allowed to trick or treat without an adult present.   Someone in the group should have a cell phone in case of an emergency.  Flashlights should also be a mandatory item.  Never allow children to enter a stranger’s residence, and make sure they don’t consume any treats until you or another trusted adult has had the chance to inspect the items, and under good lighting! 
Have them avoid homes where they do not know the residents; where there is no lighting; or anywhere something causes them to feel uncomfortable. You may want to consider asking them if they know of any bullies that may be lurking in the neighborhood.
 
Costumes are fun, but also can be dangerous.  If you buy a costume make sure it is flame retardant.  Make sure the eye holes in any mask are adequate so that the child can see, often the masks come with very small eye holes, consider makeup, hats and wigs instead of masks.  Make sure the costume is not too long, and could contribute to the child tripping or falling.  Make sure they dress appropriately for the temperature, young ones often make poor judgment calls concerning dressing warm, especially if it might impact their costume.  Consider reflective markings so that motorists have adequate warning of a child running across the street to keep up with friends or to get to the house giving out the best prizes.  

Around your own home make sure there is adequate lighting so that all children can see where they are walking.   Accidents happen, especially around Halloween style candles in or outside of pumpkins. Candles present very real fire risks, especially around young children and immature teens, consider low voltage lighting instead.  Never invite an unknown child into your house unless they are in need of emergency assistance. 
While there are healthy alternatives to candy, consider only giving out something that is sealed and can be easily determined to be tamper free.  Use common sense; exercise prudence and caution; and make the safety of our youth the number one priority this Halloween!