Every year, millions of youngsters celebrate Halloween by dressing up in costumes and asking for treats from their neighbors and friends. As more and more children go out to trick-or-treat each year, their safety is important.
Lt. Ken Sandage, of the Carson City Sheriff's Department, offers the following safety tips that children and parents should keep in mind to ensure that this will be a safe, happy holiday for everyone:
What are some ways to stay safe during trick-or-treating?
Wear a costume that makes it easy for you to walk and be seen and be sure that your costume is short enough to avoid tripping. It is best to make a costume out of a material that won't catch on fire. Use reflective tape on your costume so people driving cars at night can see you and carry a flashlight with you at all times to improve your visibility and make it easier for you to be seen.
Try to use makeup rather than a mask, it's safer than a mask because you can see and breath easily. If you wear a mask, take it off before crossing a street.
Plan your trick-or-treat route ahead of time, picking streets that are well lit and always tell your family on which street you will be trick-or-treating.
Have a parent, older brother or sister go with you, or go with a group of children.
Or skip the hazards of parading through dark streets and plan to attend an alternative event, such as a Halloween block party of school party.
Trick-or-treat in a group and hold onto your treat bag tightly and only trick-or-treat at houses with the porch light on. It's always best to trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood.
Cross only at corners. Never cross the street between parked cars or the middle of the block. Walk on well lit streets and stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, stay as far left of the roadway as possible and walk facing traffic.
Watch out for candles in jack-o-lanterns that may catch your clothes on fire.
Stop only at the houses of people you know and never go into the home of a stranger, even if you are invited in for a treat.
Wait until you get home to sort, check, and eat your treats.
Be home at a specific time.
Throw away any candy or food that is not wrapped and sealed by a candy or food company.
Always cut open your trick-or-treat fruit before you take your first bite from it.
Notify your parents and the Sheriff's Office if there are any suspicious treats - treats meant to harm you!
We would also like to remind anyone who will be out driving to watch for children trick-or-treating as they forget to watch out for you.