Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Offers Halloween Safety Tips
(FRANKFORT, KY) - Trick-or-treaters, parents, motorists and homeowners all have important roles to play in keeping Halloween safe. The Kentucky State Police suggests that you take a few minutes to review the following safety tips before heading out on your Halloween haunts this year:
- Stay alert for increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Halloween night.
- Be patient and SLOW DOWN! Give children lots of time to cross the street. Their costumes may impair their ability to see and hear you and to get out of your way quickly. Young children may lack the physical ability to cross a street quickly. They do not effectively evaluate potential traffic threats, cannot anticipate driver behavior and process sensory information more slowly than adults.
- Excited kids may forget to "stop, look and listen" before crossing the street. Since they may be trying to visit as many houses as possible within a specific time period, children could quickly dart in front of your car.
- Be extra cautious in areas where vehicles are parked along the side of the street. Trick-or-treaters may dart into traffic from between parked cars.
- Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Also watch for children walking on medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
FOR PARENTS and CAREGIVERS:
- Trick-or-treaters should carry flashlights or "glow sticks."
- Dress in costumes that are light-colored and clearly visible to motorists.
- Costumes should be no longer than ankle-length to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Use face paints or make-up rather than masks that could impair vision.
- Wear light-colored clothing or add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Children should wear comfortable, well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
- Wear flame-resistant costumes. Avoid paper costumes.
- Small children should be accompanied by adults.
- Older children should stay in groups.
- Avoid capes that could pose strangulation risks by getting caught on structures or protrusions you child may encounter.
- Make sure props such as swords, scythes, pitchforks, spears, wands or knives are flexible (not rigid) with smooth or rounded tips to prevent eye or other injuries if fallen on.
- If driving children to trick-or-treat, make sure they exit vehicle on the curb side and not the traffic side.
- Trick-or-treaters should only visit houses which have porch lights turned on.
- Never enter a stranger's house or vehicle. Stress "vehicle" because some children might think it is OK to approach a van or bus.
- Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys. By crossing a lawn, you might be tripped by clotheslines or lawn furniture.
- Don't run! Always walk when crossing streets or going from house to house.
- Cross streets only at corners and crosswalks. Never cross the street from between parked cars.
- Remove mask or any item restricting eyesight before crossing streets.
- Don't take shortcuts through back alleys or parking lots.
- Cover one side of the street at a time, no criss-crossing.
- Look "left, right, left again" for cars before stepping off the curb to cross a street.
- Don't play near jack-o-lanterns, the candle inside could start a fire.
- Stay with the adult who is leading the group.
- Keep away from open flames or burning candles.
- Try on your costume before Halloween night to make sure it fits properly.
- Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.
- Don't eat any treats until you get home.
- Have an adult check all candy before eating it.
- Turn on your porch light. Provide ample outdoor lighting. (Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs).
- Eliminate tripping hazards on your porch, yard and walkway. (Flower pots, lawn furniture, lawn decorations, bicycles, children's toys, ladders, garden hoses, dog leashes, support wires, low tree limbs)
- Remove wet leaves from steps and sidewalk.
- Use battery-powered jack-o-lantern candles. If candles are used, place pumpkin away from area where children will be walking or standing to prevent accidental fires.
- Avoid lighting sidewalks and driveways with luminaries (small candles inside decorative paper bags). Injuries might result when children are tempted to take a closer look.
- Pets can be frightened by Halloween activities. Restrain or bring them indoors to protect them from cars or accidentally hurting trick-or-treaters.
By observing these tips and planning for a little extra caution, this Halloween can be safe and enjoyable for everyone.