Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating
Police offer some words of advice for trick-or-treaters.
Everything from ghosts and ghouls, to Dora the Explorer and Harry Potter, Germantown residents are preparing for trick-or-treating and Halloween festivities. In the midst of preparations, however, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger has some pointers on how to stay safe this Halloween:
1. Make sure children are always accompanied by a parent, other familiar adult or responsible older sibling.
2. Plan a trick-or-treating route with your older children. Older children should wear a watch and come home at an agreed upon time.
3. While trick-or-treating with your youngsters, stick to familiar neighborhoods and homes. Police advise against trick-or-treating in an unknown community.
4. Stick to trick-or-treating at well-lit homes. Manger advises against taking candy from a container left outside of a house.
5. Inspect your child's Halloween candy before allowing children to eat it. Throw away and unwrapped or partially wrapped candy.
6. Clear your yard of any ladders, hoses, dog leashes or flower pots that could trip young children.
7. Children should avoid walking in the street and should always carry a flashlight when trick or treating. Don't forget to cross the street at the corner or in a crosswalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street.
8. If your teen is going to a Halloween party, make sure alcohol is not available at the party.
Avoid using real a flame in your jack-o'-lantern. Manger recommends battery-powered lanterns. Keep all cloth or paper decorations far from any burning flames.
Costumes: Manger recommends wearing flame-retardant, brightly colored, or reflective costumes of a length that won't cause tripping. Make sure any masks are not impairing the child's vision. Use face make-up instead if possible.
Drivers: If you're driving through the neighborhoods, take extra caution, watching for children.
Party-goers: As Halloween falls on a weekend this year, you can expect a lot of parties going on. If you decide to attend a party, have a designated driver.
On pets: The Humane Society recommends owners keep their animals inside to avoid any Halloween pranksters. Strangely-dressed visitors at the door can be stressful for animals. Keep them in their own room to prevent a stressful situation and to keep your pets from darting out of the door.
Watch the candy to make sure your pets don't get into the Halloween treats, or wrappers, that can be harmful to them. Curious kitties and wagging tails near any candles can be a recipe for disaster. Try using a glowstick or flashlight instead.
If your pet will be dressing up as well, make sure their costume fits properly and doesn't constrict their breathing or movement. If you can fit two fingers between the costume and your pet's neck, you're good to go. Also, make sure their costumes don't have any small or dangling pieces that could present a choking hazard.
Lastly, don't forget to ID your pets. Shelters are often overwhelmed with the number of pets that have wandered off. An ID tag or microchip can help identify your pet so that it can be returned home.
Be safe and happy Halloween!