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Halloween Safety

Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Halloween-related injuries include lacerations from pumpkin carving, abrasions from sharp objects attached to masks or costumes, burns from flammable costumes ignited by open flames from items such as candles and jack-o’-lanterns, motor vehicle accidents, and choking. It was shocking to learn that Halloween usually competes 1-2-3 with 4th of July and New Years Eve for most injuries and deaths.

The following are some tips for Trick or Treat Safety:

Costumes

1. Use costumes that are bright and reflective.

2. Use costumes and accessories that have labels declaring them fire resistant.

3. If a sword, cane, stick, or any other object is part of the costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. Many of these items are made with soft materials for costumes.

4. Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and escorts.

Carving Pumpkins

1. Small children should never carve pumpkins.

2. Consider glow lights or flash lights for illuminating the carved pumpkin. If a candle is used, a votive candle is the safest.

3. Safe placement of the jack-o’-lantern is paramount to avoid fires.

Safe Environment for Trick or Treaters

1. Remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

2. Check outside lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

3. Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks to avoid slips and falls.

4. Properly restrain pets.

Trick-Or-Treat Trail

1. A parent or responsible person should accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

2. Plan and review a safe route that older children will utilize who will go without supervision.

3. Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home for a treat.

4. Stay in a group when possible.

5. Remember reflective tape, glow sticks, or flashlights.

6. Carry a cell phone for quick communication during emergencies.

7. Remain on well-lit streets and sidewalks when possible.

8. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway facing traffic.

9. Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing kids.

10. Contact our department should you notice anyone or anything suspicious.

Staying Healthy

1. A good meal prior to parties and trick-or treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

2. Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Although tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 50% of motor vehicle accidents occurring on Halloween are alcohol related. The Greenwood Police Department will have extra patrols and will enforce a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving on Halloween. Drivers should stay alert for children crossing streets at all times and from all locations. We ask that you drive slowly through neighborhoods. Make sure your vehicle has working headlights and clean windows so children are more visible. Children are 136% more likely to be killed or injured as pedestrians between the hours of 3 pm and 9 pm on Halloween. The men and women of the Greenwood Police Department hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween. “You will find us at the end of the Halloween trail this year. We will have the SRO Hummer, bounce arounds and treats for the kids. See you there!

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