There is no denying Halloween is a favorite night for kids and many adults.
However, law enforcement wants residents to remember to be aware and play it safe or this night of playful fun could turn sour like a box of Lemonhead candy.
While costume choice is a key part of the holiday, it’s important to wear something which can be seen while walking on sidewalks going door to door.
“Parents and kids can never be too careful,” Wetumpka Police Department chief Greg Benton said. “Make sure, from a standpoint of being seen, you’re wearing visible or reflective clothing.”
Coosada police chief Leon Smith Jr. echoed Benton’s statement concerning visibility and offered some more tips.
“I recommend taking any kind of lighting along,” he said. “Those glow sticks work really well and the kids really like them. Get as much light as you can on your children. Flashlights, the flashlight on your cell phone and shoes that have lights for little kids all help.”
He cautioned kids understand what it means when a porch light is off.
“Kids need to know that a residence with its lights off is not participating,” he said. “Kids need to stay away from homes with the lights off.”
According to a report by the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. Benton requested drivers be extra vigilant on a night when there are more children in the streets.
“Drivers of vehicles need to realize people are out trick-or-treating,” Benton said. “Everyone needs to be on the look out for trick-or-treaters, but that’s just not what really happens. As a driver, be cautious on Halloween.”
As kids walk from house to house gathering up those tasty fun-size candy bars, parents need to lay eyes on the goodies going in those bags and plastic buckets.
“Absolutely do not let a child eat any candy until it is inspected,” Benton said. “There are incidents that happen around the country — not so much here — where it is not candy. Parents have to be aware.”
As for older kids going out as a group without parents, Smith urged parents to communicate with their children and their friends.
“Parents need to make sure their kids are with friends who are responsible,” he said. “You have to know who your kids are going out with. Then sit your kids down and explain the rules, and always make sure they go out in a group.”
Additionally, the Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
• Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
• A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
• Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
• Halloween can be tricky for children with food allergies. It’s important that parents closely examine Halloween candy to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction.
• After a night of Halloween fun, wash off makeup to avoid getting it on bedding or creating skin irritation.
• Make sure that shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
For more information, visit https://www.aap.org and search Halloween safety tips.