By Tamas Mondovics
In a recent media alert the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office put together a list of safety tips to help children, parents and motorists ensure that their Halloween festivities are safe and enjoyable for all.
Please see the list below.
Tips for children:
- Stay in your own neighborhood; go with a friend, in a group or with an adult.
- Go only to homes with lights on or Halloween decorations displayed.
- Do not eat any treats until they have been checked by an adult.
- Watch for cars when crossing the street.
- Tell a parent or adult about anything that makes you uncomfortable or scared.
Tips for Parents:
- Choose bright costumes and have children carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are easily visible. (Hint – Try adding reflective tape to costumes and candy bags!)
- Make sure your child’s costume allows freedom of movement and good visibility, carrying a flashlight makes kids more visible.
- If possible, have children trick or treat before dark.
- Insist that children trick or treat with a friend, group or adult. Young children should always go with an adult or a responsible teenager.
- Insist that children stay in their own neighborhood and on an agreed route.
- Make sure children know your cell phone number, their home telephone number, and address in case you get separated.
- Consider giving them a cell phone so they can reach you easily.
- Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.
- Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats.
- Don’t let children enter a home unless you are with them.
- Before children eat any treats, check them. Use your discretion about homemade treats even with an address label. The safest rule is to throw out anything that is not store wrapped and in good condition.
- Cut fruit into pieces before eating to make sure it has not been tampered with.
- Sponsor a party in place of trick or treating. Sometimes shopping malls will sponsor a party with each shop owner providing the treats. Use your imagination.
- Give store-wrapped or non-edible (crayons, stickers, small party favor) treats. If you must give homemade goodies, put your name and address on each treat (address labels work well) and give them only to children who know you.
Tips for Motorists:
- Exercise extreme caution when driving and be alert for excited children, whose vision may be obscured by masks or costumes, darting into traffic.
- Use caution and be aware of children while backing vehicles out of driveways or parking spaces.