Halloween is a fun and exciting night of the year for many children, but parents may feel uneasy about allowing their children to approach the homes of strangers. The San Angelo Police Department urges parents to use this night as a teachable moment for themselves and their children by reinforcing the importance of safety all year long.
- Consider alternatives to ?trick-or-treating.? There are several community events, including trunk-or-treat at local fires stations from 6-8pm.
- Children should be accompanied by a parent or trusted adult and walked to the door by the parent to receive treats. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
- Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses.
- Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, and make sure they get away quickly if someone gets out of a vehicle and starts to approach them. Never accept rides from strangers.
- Make sure your child is able to see and move easily in their costume. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Have children carry a flashlight or glow-stick so that they can see more easily.
- Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
- In case you become separated, make sure your child knows your cell phone number and address. Teach your children how to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- Teach your child to say ?NO!? or ?this is not my mother/father? in a loud voice if someone tries to get him or her to go somewhere. Teach your child to kick, scream and resist if someone tries to get him or her to leave. Your child's safety is more important than being polite!
BEFORE NIGHTFALL ON HALLOWEEN:
- Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
- Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home.
- Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.
- Don?t forget your 4-legged friends! Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.