By Lt. Todd Druse, Winder Police Department
For children, Halloween can be one of the most fun times of the year. Ghosts, goblins, and all things spooky are out in full-force as our youngsters trick-or-treat the night away. The Winder Police Department is committed to helping our community enjoy a happy and safe Halloween and has included a list of things to remember on Halloween night:
• Carry a flashlight or glow stick to help make kids visible.
• Small children should always be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
• Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups for enhanced safety.
• NEVER enter someone’s home without permission from parents.
• Do not eat any treats until a parent or responsible adult has inspected them.
• Walk only on sidewalks or the furthest edges of streets, against traffic flow.
• Cross streets only at intersections and not between parked cars.
• Approach only well-lit homes on a pre-determined route.
• Attach reflective tape to treat bags for added visibility.
• Always walk, don’t run.
• Don’t cross through yards or alleys to get to the next house – use sidewalks.
• Do not ride bicycles, skateboards, or roller blades when trick-or-treating.
• Make sure that masks are properly vented and don’t obstruct visibility.
• Buy only flame retardant costumes, or make a special homemade costume yourself.
• Be respectful of other people’s property – don’t mess with cars or Halloween displays.
Parents, you can find a good safety tip quiz on-line at www.halloweenmagazine.com. Try taking the quiz with your kids to make sure that everyone knows the rules for Halloween safety.
Before Batman and Barbie arrive at your home on Halloween night, please take the following precautions to make your home as safe for trick-or-treaters as possible:
• Make sure your driveway and sidewalk are clear of any tripping hazards.
• Keep lit jack-o-lanterns off to the side of your porch and away from children.
• Do not invite children into your home unless they, and their parents, are personal friends.
• Do not distribute treats that are unwrapped or appear to have been tampered with.
• Remember that small, hard candy treats can be a choking hazard for young kids.
• If you are planning to give treats to trick-or-treaters, keep your porch light on.
• Be a good neighbor – help watch out for suspicious activity or persons in your neighborhood and report them to police.
And finally, the Winder Police Department wants to remind all drivers on Halloween night to be especially cautious when navigating vehicles through neighborhoods and inhabited areas. Slow down, be on the lookout for children crossing the streets in front of you, don’t talk on your cell phone while driving, turn the stereo down, and remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way.
Call the police if you witness any dangerous drivers in your area or other suspicious activity. Let’s all work together to make sure our kids have a safe and fun Halloween night!