Tips for how to have a spooky, but safe, Halloween
Ghosts and ghouls will soon be roaming the streets and sidewalks, and they may need a little help to stay safe while making their candy collection rounds.
“Most parents have a good handle on Halloween safety, but it’s always good to get a reminder,” said Sgt. Sean Sweeney of the Barnstable Police Department.
Here are his suggestions for keeping Halloween fun and safe:
- Make sure masks fit well, so they move with the child’s head and they can see when they turn their head to look to the left and right. Be sure children can see through the eye holes. “Face painting is safer than a mask,” he said.
- If you buy a commercial costume, make sure it’s made of flame-retardant material and that it’s short enough, so it won’t cause a child to trip.
“You can add reflective tape to any costume for better visibility, especially if the child is wearing a dark costume,” said Sgt. Sweeney. “I like the idea of giving glow sticks to your kids. They love it, plus it helps you to spot your own child and it helps drivers see them.”
- Tell your children to only take wrapped, pre-packaged candy. Make sure they don’t eat anything until a parent or other adult has inspected it.
- Stay in a neighborhood where you know the people and you know your way around. Tell your child to never enter a house just to get candy.
“Whether you’re a parent or not, if you’re out driving, remember that the little goblins might not be paying attention to cars, so drive a little more slowly and cautiously,” He said.
And Sgt. Sweeney had one more tip based on some strange stories that have been in the national news.
“Try to discourage the creepy clown costume,” he said. “People are a little nervous about clowns this year and we don’t want to see anyone get hurt”
In a press release, the Yarmouth Police Department had some additional tips for parents.
- Adults should accompany young children. Cross the street only at corners and never between parked vehicles. If there is not a sidewalk, walk facing traffic. Carry a flashlight.
- Keep costumed children away from pets. The pet may not recognize the child and bite.
- Avoid hard plastic or wooden props such as daggers or swords. Substitute with foam rubber.
The Yarmouth Police department also had some tips for homeowners:
- Remove lawn ornaments and leaf bags from the front of residences prior to Halloween.
- Park vehicles off the street or inside your garage.
- Turn on all exterior lights to discourage vandalism.
- If you will be out of town during Halloween, put your lights on timers and notify your neighbors that you will be away.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has its own list with some additional tips for Halloween safety.