News

Halloween Safety Tips from Wilson Police

Friday, October 30, 2009

• Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make it fire proof, the eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision.

• If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that kid’s costumes won't accidentally be set on fire.

• Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.

• Kids always want to help with the pumpkin carving. Small children shouldn't be allowed to use a sharp knife to cut the top or the face. There are many kits available that come with tiny saws that work better then knives and are safer, although you can be cut by them as well. It's best to let the kids clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it, which you can carve for them.

• Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them.

• Teaching your kids basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, will help make them safer when they are out Trick or Treating.

• Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren't going with them.

• The best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can't take them, see if another parent or a teen aged sibling can go along.

• Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall function

• Make sure you set a time that they should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.

• Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, clean up and damages can ruin Halloween. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they've made. This is also punishable by law.

• Explain to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable. Kids may know this on their own but peer pressure can be a bad thing. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.

• Children should go out during daylight hours only unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

• Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves.

• Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields. Make sure they know to stay in populated places and don't go off the beaten track. Stay in well lighted areas.

• Stop only at familiar houses in your own neighborhood unless they are accompanied by an adult.

• Small children should never be allowed to go out alone on Halloween. Make sure an older sibling or adult is with them.

• Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car.

• Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.

• Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.

• Tell children not to accept -- and, especially, not to eat--anything that isn't commercially wrapped.

• Throw out candy or treats that are homemade, unwrapped or if they appear to have been tampered with (pinholes in wrappers, torn wrappers, etc.)

• Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect it for holes, including small punctures, and cut it open before allowing children to eat it.

• Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.

• Children shouldn't snack while they're out trick-or-treating, before parents have a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go -- don't send them out on an empty stomach.

• BUSINESS OWNERS: The Wilson Police Department would ask that you consider not selling eggs on Halloween or secure the eggs more than normal and strictly monitor the age of the purchasers for the days up to and including Halloween.

• BUSINESS OWNERS: Please make sure the 911 Communications Center has updated emergency contact information for your business. Call 237-8300 M-F 8a-5p to update your information.