GRAFTON, Mass. - Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year, especially for young children. It is also an important time to be extra careful for potential safety hazards.
The Grafton Police Department would once again like to offer the following safety tips to ensure that everyone has a safe, fun and happy Halloween.
- Always escort your children and carry a flashlight.
- Be familiar with the neighborhood where your children will be trick-or treating.
- Set a specific time for your child / children to be out.
- Always know who is trick-or-treating with your children.
- Walk on the sidewalks and not in the middle of the street.
- Instruct you children NEVER to enter any homes.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Inspect all treats before allowing children to eat them.
- Choose fireproof comfortable costumes made of light colored material so they can be easily seen in the dark.
- Consider placing reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape on your children’s costumes.
- Have children avoid wearing eye makeup or masks which will restrict their vision.
- Avoid having children carry replica firearms, swords or toys which can be mistaken for the real thing.
- Give out only commercially wrapped candy.
- Teach children their home and/or parents cell phone number in case they get lost.
- Consider a Halloween party at your residence instead of going out to trick-or-treat.
- Kids will be kids. Explain to kids of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Smashing pumpkins or throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they've made.
- Do not trick-or-treat by yourself.
- If props are carried, they should be made of soft rubber, Styrofoam or other pliable material.
- Do not take short cuts, especially through dark alleys or back yards.
- Be sure to look both ways before crossing the street.
- Don’t run! Walk to your intended destination and don’t dart in and out of cars or driveways.
- If there are no sidewalks, stay as close to the edge of the roadway as you can.
- Walk in the direction facing traffic.
- Only trick-or-treat at homes that have a light on.
- Never approach someone in a car offering candy.
- Wait until you get home before eating any treats.
- Turn on your porch light so children know its all right to visit your home.
- If you are placing a Jack-O-Lantern on your porch, place a glow stick or battery operated candle inside instead of a candle.
- Hand out only commercially wrapped candy.
- Never invite children into your home.
- Keep pets away from children.
- Maintain clear walkways that are free from obstructions.
- If using candles, keep then away from the path of children.
- Immediately notify the Grafton Police Department of any suspicious activity.
- Drive slowly and cautiously.
- Look for children walking on the street, running and darting in between parked vehicles.
- Be extra careful when entering and exiting driveways.
- Avoid using your cell phone while driving because it will cause a distraction.
- Turn down you car radio so you can listen for potential children crossing your path.
- Never drink and drive.
The Grafton Police Department has once again obtained bags and bookmarks with Halloween safety tips. These items were provided through the generosity of AAA. Feel free to stop by the police station to say hello and get a bag and a treat for your child.
Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Grafton Police Department, 28 Providence Road, Grafton, MA 01519. You may also email your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.
Normand A. Crepeau, Jr.
Chief of Police