2005-10-27 / News

Think Halloween safety

This Monday, Oct. 31, is Halloween. Kids don costumes and go door to door trick or treating.

Jamestown is usually a safe place, but the island’s police department will have extra officers on duty to keep watch over the town.

Acting Police Chief Lt. William Donovan said that there will be “six or seven” patrol officers on duty that night. Some will be stationed on the north end, some to the south and others on foot and in cars in the village.

Donovan shared some safety tips for parents, kids, and pets. He recommended that parents check the Internet where there are several Web sites devoted to Halloween safety.

In the recent past, Donovan said, the typical holiday vandalism amounted to incidents involving shaving cream, spray paint, and egg throwing. In some cases, the finishes of cars have been damaged by paint or wax, he said, adding that everyone should make an attempt to park cars in secure locations, off the street if possible.

Donovan suggested that parents accompany all kids trick-or-treating, “regardless of their age, and for different reasons.” With adults present “the older kids will stay in line and the younger ones will be safer.”

“It’s a way to reduce vandalism,” the lieutenant said.

For added protection, the Secret Garden is offering kids in costumes a free glow stick if they stop in Halloween night while supplies last.

Lt. Donovan offers these tips to keep everyone safe on Halloween:

For motorists

• Keep an eye out for children darting out from between parked cars.

• Keep eyes open for children walking on roadways, medians and along curbs.

• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

• Watch for children wearing dark clothing.

For parents • Make sure an adult or older youth is responsible and stays with children under 12 as they go door to door.

• Plan and discuss a route in advance, and know the names of your children’s companions.

• Give children a cell phone so they can check in periodically.

• Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas, stopping only at houses that are well lit. Tell kids never to enter the house of a stranger.

• Establish a return time and give at least one child a watch.

• Tell children not to eat anything until they get home.

• Give children the names of some “safe” adults they can go to if there is a problem.

• Establish a meeting place if anyone gets separated from the group.

• Keep pets off the streets and away from the doors — animals may become frightened by the scary costumes.

Costumes

• Use only fire-retardant materials.

• Wear loose costumes so that warm clothing can be worn underneath.

• Make sure costumes are not long enough to trip over.

• Add reflective tape to costumes that are dark in color.

For kids

• Walk on the sidewalks, not in the streets, and carry a flashlight or glow stick to light your way.

• Only visit homes that have the porch light on.

• Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don’t eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy can be a choking hazard for young children.

• Be cautious of animals and strangers.

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