Hallowe’en: Let’s Be Careful Out There

Police offer safety tips for kids, parents, homeowners and drivers

Hallowe’en tonight. It could be damp and chilly. The forecast calling for showers to end, but a wind to 50kph at times, temperature falling to near 1.

Police are hoping everyone will play it safe tonight. Midland Police Community Service Officer Chris Paul says that means staying on the straight and narrow…

Paul says homeowners can help, too, by keeping their homes well lit making it easy for the trick-or-treaters to get up and down their driveways and any stairs.

OPP offer the following Hallowe’en safety tips:

· Discourage the use of masks for your children. Masks make it hard for children to see what is around them, including vehicles. Make-up is a better alternative.
· Costumes should fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses or capes. Select costumes with bright colors to increase your  child’s visibility. Add on reflective tape to costumes if possible.
· Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick or treating with a group of friends.
· Provide your child with a flashlight. A cell phone is a good idea if you have one.
· Draw a map outlining the route they should follow and set a curfew.
· Tell your children not to eat anything until they get home.
· Let your children draw the faces on pumpkins with a marker and leave the carving to parents.
· Start trick or treating early before it gets too dark.

· Carry a white bag or pillowcase for your candy, or add some reflective tape.
· Bring a cell phone in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
· Always travel in groups. Be sure there are at least 3 of you at all times.
· Do not visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s home.
· Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic. Do not criss-cross back and forth across the street. Never cross between parked cars, instead use crosswalks, street corners or intersections.
· Do not eat your treats before you get home. When home, ask your parents to look through the treats with you to make sure everything is okay.

· Turn on outdoor lights and replace burnt-out bulbs.
· Remove items from your yard or porch that might trip a child.
· Sweep wet leaves from your steps and sidewalk.
· Use alternatives to candles in your pumpkins such as a flashlight or battery-operated candle. If you do use a candle, never leave it unattended.

·  Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more like to be trick or treating. Watch out for children, many of whom may be wearing costumes with masks that make it difficult for them to see. Children are excited; they may dart out in traffic.
· Remember that costumes can limit a child’s vision and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
· Reduce your distractions and stay alert.
· Remember to enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully. Proceed with caution.
· Never Drink and Drive!