Trick or treating the smart way: 13 tips from Seattle Police

SPD press release from Det. Renee Witt

Halloween Safety Tips
Written by Detective Renee Witt on October 29, 2012

The Seattle Police Department wishes Seattle residents a Happy Halloween and offers the following Halloween safety measures to parents whose little ghouls and goblins will be making the rounds on Wednesday, October 31st.

- Don’t allow children to go “Trick or Treating” alone. An adult should accompany young children and make sure that all children carry a glow stick or flashlight and wear reflective clothing.

- Accompany young children to the door of every house they approach. Stay within sight of the door when opened. Children should be cautioned to never enter a home without prior permission from their parents.

- Stay in familiar neighborhoods and only visit well-lit homes that have their outdoor lights on. Parents should be familiar with every house and with all people from which the children receive treats.

- Children should be cautioned never to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless they know the owner and are accompanied by a parent.

- All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant. When using facemasks, make sure the child can see and breathe properly and easily.

- Remind your children to walk — don’t run, and stay on the sidewalks. Cross only at intersections and crosswalks, not between cars. Look both ways before crossing the street. Do not cut through back alleys and fields if they are out alone. Make sure they know to stay in populated areas and not to go off the beaten track. Let them know to stay in well lighted areas with lots of people around. Explain to them why it can be dangerous for kids not to do this.

- Be sure to carry a flashlight with fresh batteries and make sure your child knows your phone number and address. For children under 12, attach a tag with their name, address and phone number (including area code) to their clothes in case they get separated. Older children who might be going out with friends should have a cell phone, mapped route and set a time to come home.

- Children should be cautioned to run away immediately from people who try to lure them with special treats. Children should be instructed to scream and make a scene if anyone tries to grab them or force them, in any way, to go with them.

- Don’t approach unknown animals or pets; they could be frightened by the costumes or strange noises.

- Parents should inspect all treats and dispose of anything that has been opened or has never been wrapped. The police should be notified if something has been tampered with.

- If you will be driving your kids to their destinations pay extra attention, particularly to crosswalks, intersections and the side of the road. Kids tend to walk along the curbs, cutting across the street to get to other homes. Keep scanning all around you as you drive, whether as thru traffic or along with your kids as they trick-or-treat.

- Drive below the posted speed limit in residential areas during trick-or-treating hours. This will allow you time to break if you see a child dart in front of you.

- Children should be cautioned to remember any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents or a trusted adult and the police.

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