By Paula Dickenson, Crime Prevention specialist, San Diego Sheriff, Alpine
October 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- Halloween is an exciting, fun-filled time for young people. Unfortunately, it can also result in tragedy. The following safety tips are offered for parents, children, and drivers, which will help make Halloween a safe event for all.
* Welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights on.
* Coordinate with your neighbors and patrol your streets occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and crimes against children.
* Set a time limit for your children to "trick-or-treat". An adult should accompany any children under eight (8) years of age.
* Instruct children never to eat anything until they are home and the treats have been examined. Cut and wash fruit before eating. Throw away anything unwrapped.
* Check the wrappers of commercial treats for tampering.
* Report any suspicious or unusual activity immediately to the Sheriff @ 1-858-565-5200!.MOTORISTS
* Exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle. Be on the alert for excited youngsters who may have their vision restricted by masks.
* Do not accept rides from strangers.
* Carry a flashlight and use it when crossing streets.
* Cross only at street corners, never between parked cars, and never diagonally across an intersection.
* Look in all directions before crossing the street, and obey all traffic lights. Walk - never run - across the street, and use sidewalks, not the street for walking.
* Never trick-or-treat alone. Have at least two "buddies" together for the entire evening.
* Do not go inside anyone's home. Remain on the porch at all times.
* Do not take short cuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.
* Trick-or-treat only in your neighborhood and on well-lit streets. If possible, daylight hours are best.
* Make sure your child's costume is not flammable. Show your child how to roll on the ground in the event his/her costume catches fire. In case of fire, do not run, as this makes the fire spread more rapidly.
* Your child should have at least one hand free at all times to avoid injury in case of a fall.
* Make sure that your child's mask does not restrict his/her vision and that it has adequate breathing holes. It is preferable to use non-allergenic makeup for the disguise instead of using a mask.
* Use reflective tape or retro-reflective material for costumes.
* Swords, knives and other such accessories should be of soft of flexible material.
EXAMINATION OF CANDY
* Instruct your child not to eat or drink any candy or food until he/she arrives home and it has been inspected by adults.
* Accept only professionally wrapped candy. Discard all candies which are not wrapped or whose wrapping appears to have been opened or punctured.