Keep kids safe this Halloween

Published 8:42 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

By Scott Mims

As Halloween approaches, anyone with kids should be aware of dangers associated with trick-or-treating and other activities.
For this reason, local law enforcement reminds both parents and kids of the dos and don’ts of Halloween.
“We discourage parents from taking kids to neighborhoods they don’t know,” Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer said.
Motorists should be alert when driving on Oct. 30 and 31, especially in residential areas. It is a good idea to avoid high-traffic trick-or-treating areas if at all possible. Those who are driving to and from home should drive slowly, Fulmer said.
Likewise, trick-or-treaters and accompanying adults are advised to wear bright, reflective clothing and carry flashlights so they will be easily seen.
Those who venture out should stay in groups, walking on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
“I’m always optimistic that we’ve got good people in our neighborhoods and that everybody takes extra precautions,” Fulmer said.
Unfortunately, illegal activity can happen on Halloween. This can range from rolling yards to acts of vandalism, such as egging homes and vehicles. Fulmer said so far, Jemison has been fortunate this year.
He also discourages parents from taking kids out to roll yards.
“It looks bad. It’s not right for the homeowner, and they’re committing a crime,” he said.
The following are more tips provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health:
• Swords and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
• Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
• Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks.
• Lower your risk for eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
• Wear well-fitting costumes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
• Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
• Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult.
• Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes that offer fire protection.