Common sense and safety tips for Halloween
Trick-or-treating will be on Halloween night in Douglas County, according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey.
The sheriff’s office and The Record-Courier are sponsoring the annual Trick-or-Treat Safety Street 3-8 p.m. Sunday in the CVIC Hall in Minden.
Schools and state and local government offices will be closed today (Friday) for the Nevada Day observation.
The Nevada Day Parade and many of the festivities will take place on Saturday in Carson City.
Douglas County elementary schools are closed Monday for a teachers’ in-service day.
Halsey compiled a list of Halloween safety tips for parents and children.
Tips for parents
1. Remind your children of basic everyday safety, such as:
n Stay together with a friend.
n Do not talk to strangers.
n Do not go into the home of a stranger, or get into a car.
n Look both ways before crossing streets.
n Walk on sidewalks where available. If none are available, stay along the edge of the roadways, outside of regular vehicle traffic.
n Do not cut through back alleys or fields. Stay in well-populated, well-lit areas.
2. Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.
3. The best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can’t take them, see if another parent or a teenage sibling can go along
4. Know the route your kids will be taking, especially if you aren’t going with them.
5. Make sure you set a time by which they must be home. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.
6. Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall functions.
7. Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. If purchasing a costume, pick one that is flame retardant if available. Eye holes should be cut large enough for good peripheral vision.
8. Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.
9. If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that kids’ costumes won’t accidentally be set on fire (and the temptation by some kids to knock them over will be diminished).
10. Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, clean-up and damages can ruin Halloween. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they’ve made.
11. Explain to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable. Kids may know this on their own, but peer pressure can be a bad thing. Make sure that they know that teasing or harming animals is not only morally wrong, but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.
12. Kids always want to help with the pumpkin carving. Small children shouldn’t be allowed to use a sharp knife to cut the top or the face. There are many kits available that come with tiny saws that work better then knives and are safer, although you can be cut by them as well. It’s best to let the kids clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it, which you can carve for them.
13. Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them.
Tips for children
1. Stay together with a friend or family member.
2. Do not talk to strangers (except to say “trick or treat”… outside of their house). If someone tells you your costume looks nice, you can be polite and say “thank you,” but if they try to talk to you further by asking your name, age, where you live, or anything else, do not answer them. Leave quickly and tell an adult.
3. Do not go into the home of a stranger or get into their car. If someone pulls up near you in a car, and asks you to come over so they can talk to you, do not approach the car. Tell them to go talk to an adult. Remember, adults should never ask kids for help, they should always ask another adult.
4. Look both ways before crossing streets.
5. Walk on sidewalks when available. If you must walk in the street due to no sidewalks, stay along the edge.
6. Stop only at familiar houses in your neighborhood, unless accompanied by an adult.
7. Do not cut through back alleys or fields. Stay in populated places and don’t go off the beaten path. Stay in well lit areas.
8. With your parents, plan a route so they will know where you are at all times. Also set a scheduled time when you will be home.
9. If you are planning to wear dark colored clothing or costume, carry a flashlight or put a piece of reflective tape on your clothing/costume to make you more visible to drivers.
10. Do not eat any candy or treats until they have been inspected by your parents.