Halloween Safety Tips From The Sheriff

“Halloween Safety Tips from the Sheriff Centreville: All thru Queen Anne’s County, children eagerly anticipate the night when they will wear their favorite costume and hunt for fun delicious treats. Halloween is a fun tradition but due to the excitement can cause children and even adults to forget to be careful. “”As a father of two, I share the worry about our children’s safety on Halloween night. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes. The Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff are encouraging that all parents take into consideration the safety tips provided by the National Safety Council in an effort to make Halloween in Queen Anne’s County a safe event. “” added Sheriff R.G. Hofmann

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 36 million Halloween trick-or-treaters took to the streets in 2007. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle on Halloween as opposed to any other night of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Between 4 and 10 p.m. on Halloween, there is a significant increase in falls, burn-related injuries and pedestrian injuries reported to emergency responders and authorities.

This year a new recommendation has been added to the Halloween Safety advice: make sure your child takes a cell phone in his/her jack-o-lantern and knows how to use it. In the event he/she is separated from the group or suffers an injury while trick-or-treating.

Take a phone – “” 1st  Pre-program your child’s cell phone with any important phone numbers (i.e. Home, Mom Cell, Dad Cell, etc.). In the event that your child gets separated from you or the group this will show the responders or others who to call in the event your child is in trouble. “” Teach your child to push “”9-1-1″”, Call or Send button. Explain that calling 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. Have your child practice this when the phone is off. An option to consider would an inexpensive prepaid cell phone if you do not have an extra cell phone.

Motorists  “” Watch for children darting out from between parked cars “” Watch fro children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. “” Enter and exit driveways and roads carefully. “” At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Parents  “” Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12. “” Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children companions. “” Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route. “” Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and NEVER to enter a stranger’s home. “” Establish a return time “” Tell youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home. “” Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules. “” Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from group.

Treats  “” Give children an early meal before going out. “” Insist that treats must be brought home and inspected before eaten. “” When in doubt, throw it out.

On the Way  Children must understand these rules: “” Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision. “” Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards. “” Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. “” Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.

Please leave porch lights on for additional safety during the hours set for trick-or-treating. We ask that parents please walk with your children as much as possible. We will have extra officers patrolling the communities to ensure safety.

For further information about Halloween Safety go to www.nsc.org and for candy safety go to www.candyusa.org this website is form information only, should a case of suspected candy develop, parents should call the Sheriff’s Office.”