ALL TREATS – NO TRICKS THIS HALLOWEEN

Halloween is fast approaching, and while children anticipate the annual celebration of fun and fantasy, it’s a good time for the rest of us to think about safety. As part of our ongoing commitment to protect children, all of us at the Broward Sheriff’s Office will be passing along Halloween safety advice.

We now know that the horror stories about pins and razors hidden in Halloween treats were the stuff of urban legends. Even though sabotaged candy is unlikely to appear, we should still exercise good common sense and err on the side of caution. Children should be instructed not to eat any treats until they’re back at home and mom or dad has inspected them. Parents should make sure that candy wrappers are sealed. Fruit or homemade items should be thoroughly examined. If there is any doubt, throw it out.

When little ghosts and goblins take to the streets, the biggest threat they face is motor vehicle traffic – something for parents and drivers to keep in mind.

For motorists, extreme caution is the rule for Halloween night. Expect children to run across the street, coming out of nowhere, oblivious to traffic. Children should be accompanied by adults when trick-or-treating. A responsible grown-up will be the person with a flashlight, leading the way when there’s a need to cross the street. It’s always best to stay close to home and to visit neighbors and friends that you know. Make sure children only approach homes that are well lit. Treats should be handed out at the door so that youngsters don’t have to enter the homes of strangers.

Surprisingly, simply falling down is also a leading cause of accidental injury on Halloween, the result of children tripping on their own costumes. Make sure their costume fits well and check that the child can see through any mask that he or she might be wearing.

Older children and teenagers need to be reminded that Halloween trick-or-treating is okay but vandalism will not be tolerated. Any deliberate act that damages property or causes harm to another person is a crime and deputies will treat it as such. Remind teens to never wear a mask in public, especially when visiting a store or similar establishment. It is actually against the law and it could lead to tragic consequences if a fun-loving young person were mistaken for a robbery suspect.

In addition to protecting children this Halloween, it is also important to protect property as well. Battery powered lights are always a safer alternative to candles inside pumpkins. If you decide to use candles, never leave them unattended, and make sure children are never left unsupervised around them.

I urge all parents to keep these few, common sense safety tips in mind this season. Let’s all make sure our children stay safe this Halloween.

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