TAPD offers Halloween safety tips

The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department has recommended safety tips for Halloween safety for the upcoming holiday.

TAPD recommended the following tips to parents and trick-or treaters to raise safety awareness:

Motorists are urged to be especially alert on Halloween.
• Watch for children darting out from between parked cars
• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Before children start out on their “trick or treat” rounds, parents should:
• Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
• Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
• Establish a return time.
• Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.
• Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
• Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
• Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
• Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
• Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. (Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.)
• If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
• Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
• When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
• If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
• Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
• Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
• Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
Children should understand and follow these rules:
• Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
• Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
To ensure a safe trick-or-treat outing, parents are urged to:
• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Wash fruit and slice into small pieces.
• When in doubt, throw it out.