It is hard to believe that Halloween is just around the corner, and while the threat of Hurricane Sandy may rain on your kids’ parades, now is still a good time to discuss safe practices with your children.
Hightstown Borough Police Director James Le Tellier and Cranbury Township Chief of Police Rickey Varga offer some tips for a fun and safe Halloween:
HALLOWEEN TIPS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
- Start and end early. Take advantage of as much daylight as possible.
- Make sure you are visible. Wear reflective outerwear, stay in well-lit areas on sidewalks, avoid walking in the street, and cross in crosswalks when available. Wear glow sticks or carry a light.
- In Cranbury, Officers and Community Emergency Response Members will be handing out orange flashing Halloween button/lights to children and parents. The program is sponsored by the Cranbury Fraternal Order of Police and has been an essential part of Halloween safety here in Cranbury.
- Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods. Stay in familiar surroundings and amongst people you know. If you don’t know the people’s homes you are trick or treating at, have a parent or responsible adult with you.
- Stay in Groups. There is always safety in numbers.
- Be careful when you cross the street. Look both directions and make sure no cars are coming.
- Stay Outdoors. Never enter someone’s home.
- Adult Supervision & Communication. Have a parent or an adult accompany the group. Also, have an effective means of emergency communication, such as a cell phone.
- Never consume opened candy or unpackaged items.
- Report any suspicious behavior immediately. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or suggests something inappropriate, report it to the police.
- Fuel up. If you are able to drive and are taking a group of people with you, make sure you have enough fuel to get there. You don’t want to run out of fuel on a dark street.
- If your parents give you a curfew, be home when they say. If you are going to be late, make sure you call and tell them.
- Vandalism is never cool! Throwing eggs at cars and houses is destructive and dangerous, and it is illegal.
- Hurting animals is never acceptable. Some people think that Halloween is an excuse for such, but it is just wrong and illegal.
HALLOWEEN TIPS FOR PARENTS
- Discuss food issues your child may have with the teacher and school nurse ahead of time.
- Even if you take your child to a safe Halloween sponsored event, watch your child carefully. Keep in mind these places are still full of strangers, although it may seem like a safe environment.
- It’s best to accompany your child if you allow them to trick or treat.
- Discard any treat that is not packaged properly or the packaged material is compromised.
- It is a bad idea, especially in the dark, to go to strangers homes.
HALLOWEEN PET SAFETY
- As much as your pet may want some candy, it is dangerous to give it to them and may harm them, especially chocolate.
- If you own black cats, this time of year can be dangerous for them. Keep your pets secure in your residence or yard.
- The wrappers, such as tin foil, can get stuck in your pets’ digestive tract. Keep candy in areas away from areas your pet may be able to reach.
- Watch lit candles or Jack-o-lanterns in areas where your pets may travel. Tails of animals have been known to knock these items over and cause fires.
- If you plan to dress your pet, be receptive that the costume may cause discomfort to your pet.
- Don’t use masks on your pets it obstructs their vision and may alter their senses making your pet at risk and any one that may wish to show your pet love.