Halloween Safety Tips

Since Halloween is always Oct. 31, that’s the day the Town of Wake Forest encourages families to go door-to-door in costumes for candy and fun. The Wake Forest Police Department also recommends that little ghosts and goblins trick-or-treat between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m.

In addition to or instead of trick-or-treating, families are invited to participate in the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department’s Halloween Spooktacular on Thursday, Oct. 22. The annual event will be held at the Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N. White St., from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/halloween-spooktacular.aspx.

To ensure a safe and happy Halloween for everyone, the police department offers the following safety tips:

Attire & Accessories

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping or entanglement.
  • Consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs, and accessories, look for and purchase only those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If trick-or-treating after dark, supply children and their escorts with flashlights and fresh batteries.
  • Remind older children to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. If you have a cellular phone, have your child bring it along so you can communicate with each other, if necessary.

Carving Pumpkins

  • Never allow small children (under age 12) to carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, and then parents can do the cutting.
  • Tea-light candles with aluminum liners are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
  • Lighted pumpkins kept indoors should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects. Whether indoors or outside, never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended.

Home Safe Home

  • To keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Clean wet, slippery leaves off sidewalks and steps.
  • Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects.

A Safe Hunt

  • Plan and review with your children a route that is acceptable to you. This way, you can check on their progress by car if you begin to worry that they’ve been gone too long, or if inclement weather hits, and they need a ride home.
  • Agree on a specific time when trick-or-treaters must return home, and have your children wear wristwatches so they can keep track of time.
  • Remember to drive slowly and cautiously through neighborhoods on Halloween and remind your neighbors, friends and family to do the same.

Healthy Halloween Eats

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • To avoid an overload of sugary treats, focus on the “tricks” portion of Halloween and consider passing out plastic spider rings, Halloween motif pencils or other non-food items to trick-or-treaters who visit your home.

After Trick-or-Treating

  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
  • Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.

Attention Drivers

  • Moving vehicles can pose one of the biggest hazards to trick-or-treaters. Drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk and in dark costumes. To ensure the safety of all trick-or-treaters, young and old, be sure to drive slowly all evening, you never know what creature may suddenly cross your path.

Finally, the police department is reminding residents to leave a porch light on if you are welcoming trick-or-treaters, so children will know that it is OK to visit your home. If you do not wish to take part in trick-or-treating, please leave your exterior light off.

The safety of our community does not have borders. It is the goal of every law enforcement agency to protect the citizens they serve. Be the eyes and ears of your police department. When you see suspicious activity contact the Wake Forest Police Department at 919-554-6150. Together we can make a difference in our community.

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