EDITOR’S NOTE: The following appears on the City of Apple Valley website.
Halloween is one of the best times of the year for children. However, it can be one of the most dangerous as well. Please take the time to review the following safety tips to ensure a safe and happy Halloween.
• Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
• Make sure costumes are made of flame retardant material. If they are homemade, use either a fire retardant spray or fabric that has been treated with fire retardant.
• Consider adding reflective tape or striping on costumes and trick-or-treat bags and use glow sticks/bracelets/necklaces for greater visibility.
• Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
• Consider not-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks. Masks can limit or block eyesight.
• Make sure to look for labels on costumes, wigs and accessories indicating they are flame resistant.
• Avoid using simulated knives, guns or swords. If they must be used, make sure they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
• Plan and review with your children a route and behavior which is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when to return home. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
• Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
• If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
• Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
• Always walk; not run, across a street. Make sure to look both ways before crossing.
• Only cross the street at corners or established crosswalks.
• Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops doesn’t mean the others will!
• Stay in groups and communicate where you will be going.
• Only go to homes with an outside light on.
• Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
• Never eat any treats before they can be properly checked by an adult at home.
• Older children and escorts should wear a wristwatch and carry a cell phone for non-emergency phone calls. Remind children how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any pay phone. Older children should always go out in groups.
• Review the principles of “Stop-Drop and Roll” with your children should their clothes catch on fire.
• Have children carry a flashlight to help increase visibility.
TEEN AND OLDER KIDS
• Make sure your parents know where you are going, who you are with and when you will be home.
• If you are driving, watch out for trick-or-treaters. Drive through neighborhoods slowly and pay attention to others out walking house to house.
• If your parents have instituted a curfew, be home at that time.
• Vandalism is never cool! Throwing items at cars and houses or damaging property is illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble.
• Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. A responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
• Make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies) are given only to those of an appropriate age.
• Inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. Consider only accepting homemade treats from those you know.
HALLOWEEN HOME SAFETY
• Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for low tree limbs, support wires, extension cords or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
• Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects.
• Always keep Jack O’ Lanterns and hot electric lamps away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children will be standing or walking.
• Confine or segregate household pets for the evening if possible. Be sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars with proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.
Safety is everyone’s business. Please notify the Apple Valley Police Department immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity. Remind all drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly through the community. Also, adults attending Halloween parties should establish a designated driver. For more information, please contact the Apple Valley Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at 952-953-2706.
Have a very safe and happy Halloween!