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Law Enforcement Offers Halloween Safety Tips, Safe Trick-or-Treating

By Carla O'Day

The Sparks Police Department is hosting its annual “Don’t Truck, We’ll Treat” event from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at police headquarters, 1701 E. Prater Way.

For those who trick-or-treat on the streets, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 1 plans to screen halloween candy via X-ray at the District Courthouse, 75 Court St., and at the Mills Lane Justice Center, 1 S. Sierra St.

Both events are free.

Police provided the following safety tips.

Children should:

  • Not trick or treat without parents
  • Cross streets only at corners
  • Never cross the street between parked cars
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick and/or wear reflective tape
  • Be aware of motor vehicles that may be turning into or backing out of driveways
  • Never go into a stranger’s house or car

Older children should program an emergency contact in their phone. The ICE (In Case of Emergency) followed by the names and phone numbers of those whom you wish to be notified in an emergency. ICE is recognized by emergency medical technicians, firefighters, police, and emergency room personnel.

Parents should:

  • Walk with their children or make sure children are accompanied by a trusted adult
  • Make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home. Remove lawn decorations and sprinklers, toys and bicycles, or anything that might obstruct your walkway. Provide a well-lit outside entrance to your home
  • Keep family pets away from trick-or-treaters
  • Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism
  • Instruct children NOT to eat treats until they return home and parents have had a chance to inspect those treats
  • Not leave candles unattended, try votive candles in your jack ‘o’ lanterns
  • Establish a time that your older teenage children should be home and to let them know how important it is for them to be home by that time

Costume safety tips:

  • Costumes, masks, beards, and wigs should be flame resistant
  • Costumes should be light, bright, and clearly visible to motorists; adding reflective tape can help make your child more visible to motorists
  • Make-up is safer than a mask, which can obscure vision. Test the make-up to make sure your child doesn’t have an allergic reaction
  • Avoid oversize costumes and high-heeled shoes that can cause a child to trip
  • Children should carry a flashlight to easily see and be seen
  • Trick-or-treat bags should not be too large; they can obscure vision or cause a child to trip

Halloween hazards:

  • Sharp or pointed toy weapons
  • Open flames
  • Dangerous roadways
  • Treacherous “treats” – examine all treats for signs of tampering and choking hazards. Children should not eat homemade treats made by strangers
  • When in doubt, throw it out
  • Do not allow children to carve pumpkins alone (special pumpkin cutters for kids are available at your local grocery or Halloween store).

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