Have fun and be safe on Halloween

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Evan Barlow will be a monkey for his first Halloween. -- Laura Fenton photo

As the ghosts, princesses, super heroes and other children trick-or-treat Saturday evening, parents or guardians need to keep safety in mind.

Both the Selma City Police Department and the Dallas County Sherriff’s Department will have extra patrol Saturday evening during trick-or-treating hours, but parents also need discuss safety rules with children before leaving the house.

Costumes should be flame retardant so children will not be at risk when walking near lit jack-o-lanterns or other candles.

“They’ll bend over or something, and the candy bowl is usually near a jack-o-lantern or something, and it will flame up,” said Investigator Mike Grantham.

Parents also need to remember what costumes children are wearing in case parent and child are separated, Grantham said.

To prevent separation, children should follow a pre-planned route that goes along well-lit streets and only visit homes with the front porch lights on. No child should trick-or-treat alone. It is best to go in large groups with at least one adult.

“Most of all, try to get out there before dark,” said Det. Ronald Jones. “You don’t want to be out there all night.”

Ashly Fancher will take her son trick-or-treating Saturday around 5:30 p.m. so it will be light outside.

“I wouldn’t go at nighttime with him and I honestly wouldn’t to a stranger’s house,” Fancher said. “I’m going to people’s houses that I know.”

Selma City trick-or-treating will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Dallas County does not have a trick-or-treating curfew.

Tips for trick-or-treating:

Outfit children in flame retardant costumes or spray flame retardant spray on them.

Carry a flashlight or a light stick, especially if a costume is dark colors.

If carrying a sword or other sharp prop, do not run with the prop. Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

Cut eyeholes in masks large enough to see well.

Choose a route for trick-or-treating that does not involve alleys or dark streets.

Take masks off when going to stores in costume.

Drink water before and after trick-or-treating to prevent dehydration from the costumes and walking for a prolonged period of time.

Pick up loose garden hoses or other items in the yard so children will not trip over them.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid tripping or falling.

Look both ways when crossing the street. Use crosswalks whenever possible.

Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road when moving from house to house.

Before eating any candy, parents should check all food to ensure no wrappers are opened or have questionable paraphernalia.

If you would like to not participate in Halloween festivities on Saturday, turn off front porch lights.