With Halloween approaching, Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard encourages parents to be mindful of potential hazards and dangers that tend to accompany this holiday.
To keep Halloween fun and safe for our children, Howard asks parents and guardians to review these simple, yet effective safety tips with their trick-or-treaters to ensure a holiday that is memorable for all of the right reasons.
•Accompany your young children and plan to go when it is light out.
•Feed your children a meal or substantial snack before trick-or-treating.
•Have children save all candy until they get home.
•Inspect all treats; throw away unwrapped, open, or suspicious-looking goodies.
•Fake knives, swords, guns, and other costume accessories can potentially cause injury. Make sure they aren't too long for the costume and review with your child that they are part of the costume and not a weapon.
•Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
•Try using make-up instead of a mask.
•Costumes with light colors and reflective tape are best. Someone in the group should carry a flashlight. Consider putting reflective tape on their bags too.
•Children should always trick-or-treat in groups preferably with adult supervision.
•Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
•Children should be instructed to stop only at familiar homes and where the outside lights are on.
•NEVER go into a home or car to collect treats. Kids should not stop at houses that are dark or do not have the porch lights turned on.
•Don't forget to inspect fruit and homemade treats for anything that looks suspicious.
•Treats with open packaging or torn wrappers should be discarded.
•Children and adults should inspect all treats and only consume unopened candies and treats in original wrappers.
•Put away anything children could trip over.
•Turn the lights on and replace any burned-out bulbs at the walkway and front door.
•Remember, your jack-o-lantern and any other candles or electrical decorations can be a fire hazard. Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from inflammable materials.
•Never leave your house unattended. If you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office will have increased patrols on Oct. 31. However, the best way for parents to ensure a safe and fun Halloween for your family is by planning to do your part by reviewing and acting on these safety tips.