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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.


*        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.

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