“Although Halloween and Harvest Day events usually have sugar-laden treats, these events also provide opportunities to provide nutritious snacks, get physical activity and focus on safety,” Pell City Police Chief Greg Turley said.
Turley said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Safekids.org offer great tips to keep safe while enjoying the many fun autumn activities.
“On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year,” he said.
Turley said there are several tips parents and children can heed to help make outside activities safer including:
O Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
O Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
O Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night. If the kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
O Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
O When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Turley said an easy way to remember trick-or-treating tips is to remember SAFE HALLOWEEN.
S – Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
A – Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F – Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
H – Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and other see you. Always walk and don’t run from house to house.
A – Always test makeup in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
L – Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
L – Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
O – Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
W – Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
E – Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
E – Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
N – Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
“If you are expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests, there are several steps you can take to make it a fun time for everyone,” Turley said. “You can provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables and cheese.”
Turley said party games and trick-or-treat time can be used as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
“Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls,” he said. “Keep candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of reach of pets and small children and never leave them unattended. Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.”
Turley said the Pell City Police Department will provide extra patrols in neighborhoods on Halloween night to help ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable evening.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.