Safety is most important thing

Carving pumpkins and scary movies are well and good, but any child can tell you the most important Halloween activity involves the collection of free candy.

As the streets fill with those dressed as ghosts, ghouls and garish attire for trick-or-treating, there are some things to keep in mind to help ensure the frights this Halloween night are intentional and, most of all, safe.

The professionals agree, Halloween can present some unique dangers parents and children should be aware of, but they’re dangers a little forethought can greatly reduce.

“There are so many things to be concerned about when it comes to Halloween safety,” Warren County School District Interim Director of Pupil Services Ruth Nelson said.

“It is important to all the law enforcement agencies that the children have a safe and fun Halloween,” City of Warren Police Community Service Officer Sgt. Brandon Deppen noted.

Deppen and Nelson took the time to put together a few tips on how to ensure a safe Halloween including:

Costumes:

Ensure they have eyeholes large enough to allow clear sight, including peripheral vision.

Wear items that are fire-proof.

Wear brightly colored items or add reflective tape for visibility.

Make sure costumes aren’t too long or baggy to avoid tripping.

Avoid simulated weapons, or, if such props are included, ensure they do not appear authentic and are soft or flexible.

Make sure shoes are safe for walking and laces are tied securely.

Carry a flashlight.

Trick-or-treating:

Travel in groups, preferably with at least one adult.

Plan a safe route that parents and trick-or-treaters know.

Set a time for trick-or-treaters to return.

If no adult is present, make sure trick-or-treaters are old enough and responsible enough to go out alone.

Stop only at familiar houses.

Stay in familiar neighborhoods.

Stay on sidewalks or, in areas with no sidewalk available, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

Walk, do not run from house to house.

Do not cut through alleys.

Do not cross yards where unseen objects or uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.

Do not enter a strangers home.

Only visit homes with a porch light on.

Candy:

Do not eat any treats until an adult has checked them.

Throw away anything opened or damaged.

Eat a filling meal before trick-or-treating to avoid overloading on candy.

Examine toys for choking hazards.

Never consume food items that are not wrapped.