Police make Halloween safety suggestions

Published 2:18 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday evening children will be putting on costumes gathering with friends and family and preparing for a ghoulish time as they trick or treat around their neighborhoods.

Safety should be priority for trick or treaters. The Picayune Police Department will be out that night from 5 to 8 p.m. to help ensure that safety, said Public Information Officer Capt. Theresa Milar.

Patrols in some neighborhoods will involve golf carts and the new bicycles that Picayune Main Street raised money to purchase for the department.

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Milar asks the public to drive slowly in busy neighborhoods since children may attempt to cross the street without paying attention to nearby traffic. Making them visible will help, she said and suggested using reflective clothing and having them carry a flashlight or glowstick.

Costumes are safer if the child can see and breathe in it easily. Flame retardant material is safest, Milar said. Props, such as knives and swords, should be made of flexible material according to http://www.sosnet.com/Safety/halloween.tip.html.

Children should not be left to trick or treat alone, but should be with their parents at all times. When approaching a house, parents should accompany them to the door of every home. Only homes that are well lit should be approached and strange animals near homes should be avoided, the website states.

Residents setting up homes to welcome trick or treaters should look out for things that might trip children, such as hoses, ladders, or other loose items, the website states. Flammable items should be kept away from open flames such as candles used to light pumpkins, the website states.

Candy tampering can be best avoided by a parent or adult inspecting the goodies before children eat the candy. Fruits also should be inspected for any tampering, Milar said.

Milar wants parents to know that even though parents will be walking while they are with their children, the city does have an open container law, so alcoholic beverages should remain at home.

“You can’t walk with your kids drinking alcohol cause we have an open container law,” Milar said.