Sheriff Al Nienhuis and the men and women at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office would like everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween. With that being said, please take a minute to read through these Halloween safety tips before sending the little ghosts and goblins out to collect their treats this year.
– Welcome trick- or- treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights ON.
– Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.
– Clear the porch and/or front yard of obstacles a child could trip over.
– Restrain household pets.
– Use a glow stick in the jack-o-lantern instead of a candle to avoid a fire hazard.
– Patrol your neighborhood occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and/or crimes against children.
– Report any and all suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency immediately.
– Keep all of the doors locked at your home (even if you are just “out front” handing out candy). Halloween is a night when many homes are burglarized because parents are out with the kids.
– Do not give out homemade or unwrapped treats to children.
– Do not go inside anyone’s home.
– Do not accept rides from strangers.
– Keep a safe distance from moving cars.
– Cross the street only at street corners, never between parked cars, and never diagonally across an intersection.
– Look in ALL directions before crossing a street. Obey all traffic signals. Walk, never run across the street.
– Use sidewalks – NOT the street for walking.
– Do not take shortcuts through back yards, alleys, or parks.
– Do not eat any treat until your parent has inspected it.
– Be cautious around pets and any other animals.
– Exercise extreme caution when operating your vehicle.
– Be alert for excited youngsters whose vision may be obscured by masks. These children may inadvertently dart in front of your vehicle if unattended.
– Slow down.
– Do not leave your pet outside, unattended on Halloween (or on the days preceding or following Halloween). Halloween pranks committed against pets can be vicious, and black cats are particularly at risk.
– Halloween treats are for people, not pets. Candy wrappers and lollipop sticks can be hazardous if swallowed. Chocolate can be poisonous for most types of pets.
– Keep pumpkins out of reach of curious noses and paws. Pets may knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire.
– Despite how much fun it is for people, many pets don’t enjoy getting dressed up for Halloween. If you do dress up your pet, be sure that its costume doesn’t interfere with its ability to breathe, see, hear, move, or bark.
– Consider keeping your pet in a separate room, away from the door, when trick-or-treaters arrive. Strange people, in even stranger costumes, can frighten pets.
– When you do answer the door, make sure your pet doesn’t suddenly head for the great outdoors. In case your pet does escape, make sure that he or she is wearing proper identification. Pets with identification are much more likely to be returned to owners.
Trick or Treat Tips
– Be sure costumes are flame retardant.
– Keep costume short to prevent tripping/falling (bumps in the night).
– Try make up instead of a mask that may obstruct vision (when crossing streets and going up and down steps). Masks can also be hot.
– Be sure kids wear light colored costumes or reflective tape on costumes so they can be seen by drivers.
– Create a map of a safe trick or treat area. Set a time limit for the kids to go by.
– Kids should stay in groups and parents should accompany young children.
– Older kids should trick or treat with friends, and parents should KNOW where they are going.
– Tell older kids to stop only at familiar houses and only when the lights are on.
– Try to get your kids to trick or treat while it is still light out.
– If it is dark out, make sure they take a flashlight with them.
– Make sure children know their home address and telephone number(s).
– Make sure children know how to use 9-1-1 properly.
– Teach children how to say “NO” in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them.
– Teach children not to approach vehicles.