RALEIGH --Halloween is a fun night for kids. But for parents it's a time to be concerned for children's safety. To make Halloween an enjoyable and safe evening, the City of Raleigh Police Department and the National Crime Prevention Council offer the following tips:
- Be certain that children's costumes are flame-retardant
- Keep costumes short to prevent stumbles, falls and other bumps in the night.
- Use make-up instead of a mask. Masks can obstruct vision, a dangerous thing when crossing streets and going up and down steps.
- Don't go to the trouble of dressing up if you cannot be seen. Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
- Trick-or-treaters always should be in groups so they are not a tempting target for real-life creeps. Parents should accompany young children.
- Don't dress to kill. Halloween blood and gore are harmless stuff for the most part. But sometimes dressing up as a superhero or an alien, coupled with the excitement of costume accessories, can hurt people. Even fake knives, swords, guns and other costume accessories, can hurt people. If such objects are part of a child's costume, make sure they are made from cardboard or other flexible materials. Better yet, challenge kids to create costumes that don't need weapons to be fun.
TIPS FOR TRICKSTERS
- Stay in your neighborhood.
- Do not trick-or-treat alone. Go with an adult you trust and other children. If it's dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well-lighted streets.
- Only go to houses with lights on and/or Halloween decorations. Do not enter strange houses or a stranger's car. Leave immediately if any person you call on asks you to do so.
- Watch for cars when crossing the street.
- If for any reason you do not feel welcome or feel uncomfortable or scared, simply say, "thank you" and leave.
- Tell your parents about anything that makes you scared or uncomfortable.
- Tricks are fun. Vandalism is against the law. Vandals and troublemakers spoil everyone's fun, and damage caused is expensive and discourages people from participating in Halloween fun again. Tell your parents about people who you have seen smashing pumpkins, vandalizing, destroying property or causing other problems.
- Do not eat treats until you are home. Have a meal or a snack before you go trick-or-treating.
- Check out all treats at home in a well-lighted place.
- What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don't forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means, do not eat everything at once or you'll be feeling ghoulish for a while!
TIPS FOR TREATERS
- If you want trick-or-treaters to come to your home, keep your outside and front room lights on, or have Halloween decorations.
- Give store-wrapped or non-edible treats such as crayons, stickers and small party favors. If you must give homemade goodies, put your name and address on each treat and give them only to children you know.
- If you do not wish to participate, simply say so. Most trick-or-treaters will respond politely and with respect to a simple, "No, thank you. I do not wish to participate." Report to police immediately anyone who is not welcome or refuses to leave, pumpkin smashers, vandals or others who cause problems.