It’s that time of year again, and the arrival of Halloween means kids will don costumes depicting favorite characters, clichés and creatures before hitting the streets in search of sweets.
But before your little monsters head out on the town this year, consider these Halloween safety tips provided by the Acton Police Deparrtment. They'll cover trick-or-treating, costumes and the homefront, with a reminder about the end of Daylight Saving Time thrown in for good measure.
- Smaller children should always be with an adult. It’s best to take little ones out early.
- Know what neighborhoods they will be in.
- Don’t allow them in areas with which you are not completely comfortable.
- Have the children stay in a group.
- Let them know what time to be home.
- Give them a cell phone to use if necessary.
- Keep pets inside.
- Cross only at the corners, never dart out between parked cars —use sidewalks
- Cover one side of the street at a time, no criss-crossing.
- Never go inside someone’s home
- Never accept a ride in a car.
- Only approach houses where the outside lights are ON as a signal of welcome.
- Bring all bags home to be checked by an adult before eating a single treat.
- Throw out anything that appears tampered with, home-made foods or home-packaged foods unless you are certain of the source.
- Inspect fruit closely and take away treats that may not be age appropriate. For instance, young children may choke on things like hard candy or peanuts.
- Children should carry a flashlight and their costumes should be bright-colored or have reflective tape to highlight them.
- Be sure all parts of the costume are labeled flame retardant.
- Costumes should not have trailing material or toils long enough to cause falls.
- Pointed objects such as swords and devils forks should be made of soft material.
- If your child wears a mask instead of make-up on their face, double check that the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly.
- Children should wear sturdy shoes and temperature-appropriate clothing underneath their costumes.
On the Homefront
- Make sure your own home is well-lit and that there is a clear path to your door. Bicycles and lawn furniture can trip youngsters in the dark.
- Use a small flashlight or battery-operated candle in pumpkins instead of an open-flame candle.
- Keep dried leaves and cornstalks away from all flames and heat sources.
- Only use flame-proof crepe paper.
On Falling Back
- Daylight Saving Time ends just a few days after Halloween, at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3.
- That means we’ll turn back the clocks during the overnight hours heading into that Sunday, Nov. 3.
- As a rule of thumb, public safety officials typically recommend this event as a good time to also change the batteries in your smoke detectors.