Safety tips for Halloween from the Sparta Police Department

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:55

    SPARTA — The late Mason Cooley once said, “Clothes make a statement but costumes tell a story.” Halloween is upon us and kids in your neighborhoods both big and small, will be making their way to your front doors hoping to tell their stories by wearing their own unique homemade or store bought get-ups. Halloween is etched into our culture as a night of ghoulish fun, pranks and lots of candy. For the most part it is all in good fun and is a very special night for young children as they dress up and get rewarded for their efforts with sweets and treats. Unfortunately Halloween is also a time of great vigilance for parents. Here are some Halloween Safety Tips to help your children safely enjoy the evening with family and friends. Help your child pick out an appropriate costume. Make sure its is fire proof or treated with a fire retardant. If your child is wearing a mask, ensure the opening for the mouth is sufficiently large enough so your child can breathe properly. Make sure the eye holes are also large enough for good peripheral vision. Serve your child a filling meal before they go out so they are not tempted to eat any candy before you have a chance to inspect it. Kids will be kids. Explain to children of all ages the difference between pranks and acts of criminal mischief. All small children should be accompanied by an adult while trick or treating. If they are old enough to go with friends make sure, you know the route they will be taking. Establish a time frame that they should check in with you, either by phone or by stopping back home. Everyone trick or treating should have reflective tape on their costumes and candy bags. Carry flashlights, glow sticks etc. Enter homes only with a trusted adult. Otherwise stay outside. Never enter any car of a stranger or accept any candy from them. Talk openly with your children about safety practices and do not be afraid to discuss scenarios. Parents should carefully inspect all candies and treats before your child is allowed to eat them. If the candies are not factory wrapped or are homemade make sure you know and trust the person who prepared it before allowing your child to have it. The Sparta Police Department wants all our residents to safely enjoy this special night. Our officers will be out in force strictly enforcing the town’s speed limits and will be highly visible in our local neighborhoods. There will be a curfew in place for anyone under the age of 18-years-of age and not accompanied by a parent or guardian on Oct. 30 and 31. The curfew will be enforced from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on both dates. As always if you should encounter any emergencies you should immediately dial 9-1-1. All non emergencies call 973-729-6121.