As Halloween night approaches, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office offers tips to parents, drivers and trick-or-treaters on how to be safe.
• Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
• Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
• Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
• When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
• If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
• Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
• Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous.
• Teach children how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency -- or become lost.
On the Trick-Or-Treat Trail
• A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
• If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
• Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
• Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
• Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
• Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
• Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
• If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
• Never cut across yards or use alleys.
• Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
• Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
• Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Editor's Note: The above information was taken from a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office newsletter.