Local authorities offer safety tips for trick-or-treaters

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Rowan County law enforcement officials offered tips on Friday to keep children safe as they go trick-or-treating Monday.
Salisbury Police Capt. Melanie Thompson said paying attention as a motorist and parent is important.
“Children are looking for the next house to go to. They’re not looking for your car,” Thompson said.
Thompson said parents should also not allow children to eat homemade candy unless they are familiar with the person who gave it to them.
“If you’re wearing dark clothing, you need to make sure you have a flashlight or glowstick,” Thompson said. “Glowstick necklaces that go around a child’s neck usually work best.”
Thompson also said it’s important to remember that it is illegal to wear a mask if you’re over the age of 16.
Thompson said some children are more prone to commit acts of vandalism around Halloween.
“We want to make sure they know they can be charged with a crime of vandalism,” she said.
In a press release, Sheriff Kevin Auten also provided a list of tips to having a safe weekend.
Auten highlighted the need for motorists to pay attention to children who may be walking between cars especially in residential areas.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that parents or an older responsible youth should supervise children under 12 and older trick-or-treaters should travel in groups and should stay to familiar areas.
“Halloween is a fun time in Rowan County,” Auten said. “But let’s make it a safe time as well.”
Halloween safety
• Watch out for children darting out between parked cars
• Watch for children walking along roadways, medians and curbs.
• Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

• Make sure an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
• Check the sex offender registry at www.ncdoj.gov when planning your child’s trick-or-treat route.
• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
• Make sure older children trick-or-treat in a group.
• Teach children to stop only at houses or apartments that are well-lit and never enter a stranger’s home.
• Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.
• Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially unwrapped or has a strange odor, color or texture.
• Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
• Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
• Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire.
• Do not leave your house unattended.

•?Knives, swords and other accessories should be made of 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 reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
• Carrying flashlights with fresh batteries will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office