Contact person: John W. Hough, Chief of Police
Contact telephone number: 720/763-3000
The safety of every child in our community is extremely important to the Edgewater Police Department. Halloween night is an event that brings excitement to both children and adults. It is an event that should be safe for everyone, regardless of age. To achieve that goal the Police Department is offering Halloween safety tips for children, parents, and homeowners.
Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight and wear a watch that can be read in the dark so they know when to return home. Costumes or trick-or-treat bags should have reflective markings or tape for greater visibility. To prevent injuries due to falls, costumes should not drag on the ground and shoes should fit, even if they do not “go” with the costume. If a child wears a mask, it should not be worn when walking from house to house or when crossing a street to minimize the chances of tripping, falling, and becoming injured. As an alternative to a mask, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic make-up or a decorative hat. If your child carries a simulated knife, sword, or gun as part of a costume, be certain the prop does not appear too authentic and is soft and flexible to prevent injuries.
Children should walk, not run, from house to house, even though it is sometimes difficult for them to contain their excitement and enthusiasm. Stay in a group or with a parent or responsible adult. Try not to cut across yards or driveways because in the darkness it is sometimes difficult to avoid tripping and falling over objects that are hard to see. Stay on sidewalks and obey traffic signals. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the roadway facing traffic, keeping as far off the roadway as possible. Your child should try to remain on well-lighted streets. Remind your child to never enter a stranger’s house or car for a treat.
Your trick-or-treater should stay in familiar neighborhoods and approach only houses that are well lighted. Discreetly secure emergency identification (name, address, and telephone number) in your child’s costume or on a bracelet. Finally, even though children may want to stop and befriend a new animal they encounter at a house, instruct them to stay away and not pet any animal they do not know.
For parents, there are some simple suggestions to follow to make your child’s Halloween night safer. Make your child eat dinner before venturing out on Halloween- they are less likely to eat their treats before you have a chance to inspect them. Be certain that your children know how to contact you or the Police Department in the event of an emergency. Ideally, an adult should accompany young children. If you do not accompany your older child, be certain you know where he or she is going and that your child knows when to return home.
If your children trick-or-treat without adult supervision, be certain they fully understand all the safety tips outlined above for trick-or-treaters. Your child’s costume, whether purchased or handmade, should be made of flame-retardant material. Review with your children the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll” if their clothing or costume should catch on fire.
Tampering with treats is a rare occurrence, but unfortunately it still does occur. Tell your children, regardless of their age, to bring their candy and treats home so you can inspect them before they eat anything. Your child should never consume an unwrapped food or open beverage offered as a treat. Inspect the candy and treats carefully, throwing out anything that looks suspicious. If you have a question about the safety of a piece of candy or a treat, secure the item in a safe location so that your child cannot handle or eat it and contact the Police Department for assistance. Make sure that items that could cause choking, such as small pieces of hard candy, are given only to children of an appropriate age. Learn or review CPR skills in case you need to aid someone who is choking on a piece of candy or a treat.
Homeowners should be certain that their yards are clear of tripping hazards such as ladders, garden hoses, support wires, low tree limbs, or dog leashes that might trip a trick-or-treater. If you own a pet, be aware that Halloween can be a scary event for them. Secure your pets to avoid having them being hit by a vehicle or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
Battery powered jack o’lantern candles are safer than real flames. If you do use candles, place them well away from any location where a trick-or-treater may be walking or standing. Be certain that paper or cloth yard decorations will not be blown into an open flame.
One final suggestion. If you are driving on Halloween night, please use extra caution and be aware of the trick-or-treaters walking through our neighborhoods. If we all work together Halloween can be a safe event for our community. If you have any questions about Halloween safety, please contact the Edgewater Police Department at 303/235- 0500.
Some of the above information was provided through the courtesy of the Los Angeles Fire Department.