Have a safe — and fun — Halloween

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

With youngsters expected to be out in full force this evening for trick-or-treating, especially in the downtown, local law enforcement officials are sharing safety tips and preparing their officers in efforts to keep all safe.
Local residents — both young and old alike — share in that responsibility. Being aware of your surroundings is a critical first step to staying safe. With all the fun and excitement that accompany Halloween, here are some additional safety tips to remember — whether we’re parents of trick-or-treaters or not. The Tennessee Insurance Council has issued its annual list of Halloween safety tips, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s a good primer for parents for the big night ahead.
— Trick-or-treat in a group and make sure the children in your group stay together. Children should never venture out of sight from their guardian, and should never enter a house unless they know the person and their guardian is accompanying them.
— Carry a flashlight at all times. Flashlights will keep you and your party visible, while also lighting your path.
— Children should avoid homes that don’t have their outside lights turned on.
— Children should never talk to strangers or get into strangers’ cars.
— Always use the sidewalk and crosswalks near busy intersections. Walk on the side of the road that is facing traffic so that you can see oncoming traffic at all times. Be sure to look both ways when crossing the street.
— Be careful around fire-lit candles or luminaries.
— Do not allow your children to eat candy until it has been inspected. Children might be tempted to reach into their bags for candy before you’ve gone home to inspect their loot. Explain to them that you need to check the candy first for safety reasons.
— Toss any candy that has an open wrapper. Examine candy that can possibly be a choking hazard, or too difficult for your child to eat, and take them away. Also avoid any homemade treats unless you know the person who served them and can attest to the food’s safety.
— Don’t just leave your children with all their Halloween candy. On a good haul, your children can accumulate more candy during Halloween than you would ever consider buying them in an entire year. After inspecting the candy, you should set it aside and distribute it to your children in limited amounts. The last thing you want is your children eating a year’s worth of candy in one night!
— Last, but certainly not least, if you do see anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call the Elizabethton Police Dept. or Carter County Sheriff’s Office.
Most Halloween safety tips are common sense. We encourage you to think about and practice them — remembering that many of the children won’t. Halloween is supposed to be fun. Let’s be certain Halloween is the safe fun for all it is intended to be.

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