Halloween safety a community effort
Liz Fitch and her colleagues on the Delhi Community Policing Committee have distributed 74 visibility strobes to Grade 1 students at Delhi Public School and St. Frances School in time for Halloween night. Luke Stefan of DPS got his strobe last year and is thus wise to the ways of safe trick-or-treating. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER
Halloween can be a seriously scary time of the year, especially for those who don’t have their wits about them.
The Halloween season is fun and spooky, but there are pitfalls along the way that can turn the event into a real horror show.
To that end, the Norfolk OPP have compiled a handy checklist of things to think about to keep your Halloween free of complications.
In a news release, the force highlights potential hazards that even the most careful householder or parent might overlook. Police are aware of them because they too often have to deal with the aftermath.
Things like locking up your dog before trick-or-treaters arrive and keeping the path to your door free of trip hazards that children can’t see after dark.
“Trust me – your dog won’t like trick-or-treaters,” Const. Ed Sanchuk said in the news release. “Even normally friendly dogs can get a little testy with unidentified children taking things away from their house. Best to keep them away from the door or other paths children might use.”
Children love candy and usually want to tuck right in after notching a big score. Police suggest this is not a good idea. The vast majority of householders are generous and enjoy treating youngsters who arrive in costume. But just to be sure, police say no child should consume anything until parents have had a chance to inspect the contents of their goodie bag.
As a means of ensuring compliance, police suggest feeding children a good meal before they take to the streets. If they aren’t hungry, they will be less tempted to sneak a bite.
Prior to the shell-out, all concerned need to pay attention to visibility.
Groups like the Delhi Community Policing Committee are taking the lead locally by handing out inexpensive visibility strobes to Grade 1 students in the Delhi area. A total of 74 were handed out last week to students at Delhi Public School and St. Frances School.
“See and be seen,” Sanchuk says. “Bright clothing, reflective tape and a flashlight or glow sticks will help light you up and light your way.”
Children and their parents have a duty to be visible after dark. But motorists also have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and understand that many young ones will be afoot in Norfolk and Haldimand’s urban areas Halloween night.
“Plan your route in neighbourhoods you know and don’t approach homes that are in darkness,” the Norfolk OPP say. “Use sidewalks. Don’t cut across yards or driveways and walk single file facing traffic at the edge of the roadway when sidewalks aren’t available.”
Other tips include lighting the outdoors where trick-or-treaters might tread and be extra conscious of fire hazards wherever real candles are deployed.
And finally, parents should not let children trick-or-treat unsupervised unless they are absolutely confident they will conduct themselves in a responsible, safety-conscious manner.