Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick or Treat Tips from the Decatur Police Dept.

(Taking the kids out for Trick or Treating is a great way to get some exercise. This below from the very bright and engaging Juanchella Francis, PhD, Community Relations, Decatur Police Department)


Halloween may be a fun day for children, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little tricky. To make Halloween a treat for all, follow these safety tips:

A) Check that the costumes are flame retardant so the little ones are not in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns and other fire hazards.

B) Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.

C) Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable. More importantly, they can obstruct a child’s vision, which can be dangerous when crossing streets and going up and down steps.

D) Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.

E) Trick-or-treaters should always walk in groups so they are not tempting targets for real-life goblins. Parents should accompany their children when trick-or-treating, even the older children.

A) Parents, if you are not accompanying your older children, map out a safe route so you will know where they are, at all times. Tell them to visit homes of people known and trusted by your family, where outside lights are on.

B) Have your children trick-or-treat during early hours of the evening or before 8:30pm. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and select well-lighted streets.

C) Make sure children know not to ever enter strange houses or stranger’s cars, especially, when trick-or-treating.

D) Your children should be advised to tell an adult or older teenager if a stranger suggests that they come into his/her home or asks them to do something they believe is wrong or makes them feel uncomfortable.

Parents and children can avoid trick-or-treating troubles by organizing a Halloween costume party in your own home with treats, games, contests, music and much more. Make your Halloween party the place to be!

1) Children need to know not to eat their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging into their bags while they are still out is to feed them a meal or snack beforehand.

2) Inspect all treats at home in a well-lighted place.

3) What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means, remind children not to eat everything at once or they will become sick.

Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and children if everyone remembers the tricks and the treats of playing safe. Remember, the safest Halloween party is in your own home!!

Halloween blood and gore are harmless for the most part but sometimes dressing up as a superhero, a swash-bucking pirate, or an alien, coupled with the excitement of Halloween, can bring out aggressive behavior. Even fake knives, swords, guns, and other costume accessories can hurt people. If these objects are part of a child’s costume it should be made from cardboard or other flexible materials. Better yet, challenge children to create costumes that don’t need weapons to be scary and fun.

Remember to Call the Decatur Police Department
In Case of an Emergency
Dial 911

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