Area law enforcement, emergency responders provide Halloween safety tips

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 26, 2018

SALISBURY — In a few days, the streets will be flooded with children dressed in their scariest or silliest costumes for Halloween. Local law enforcement and emergency responders say it’s also a time when accidents can happen.

But there many practical ways to keep safe on Halloween.

“Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common-sense practices can keep events safer and more fun,” said Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten.

A number of celebrations are planned throughout the county beginning tonight and Saturday. Others are set for Wednesday, Halloween night.

“Halloween is a fun time in Rowan County,” Auten said, “but let’s make it a safe time as well.”

For parents

  • Make sure an adult or responsible older youth is watching children younger than 12.
  • Plan and discuss trick-or-treat routes and know the names of the people your child is accompanying.
  • Check the sex offender registry at when planning a trick-or-treat route. You can view maps that pinpoint registered offenders’ addresses in your neighborhood and sign up to get email alerts when an offender moves nearby.
  • Make sure older kids trick-or-treat in a group.
  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
  • Teach children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never enter a stranger’s home.
  • Set a return time.
  • Tell children not to eat any treats until they return home.
  • Review appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
  • Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and telephone number inside a pocket in case he or she gets separated from a group.
  • Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
  • Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

Area emergency responders shared a video on social media that includes these tips:

  • Parents should take flashlights with them while trick-or-treating in the evening and have children wear reflective tape or bold colors so they can be seen at night.
  • Stay together in a group, don’t wander off and never go into someone’s house.
  • Let parents check the candy, and don’t eat unwrapped candy and handmade treats from people you don’t know. Don’t eat candy that has a strange odor, color or texture.

For homeowners

  • 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 things that could catch fire.
  • Do not leave your house unattended.

For pets

Don’t forget about keeping pets safe during Halloween, says the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association. Tips include:

  • Never feed pets candy or chocolate. Digesting certain ingredients found in candy or chocolate can result in serious health complications.
  • In case a pet slips through the door or runs off a leash, make sure a microchip and other identification information is up to date.
  • Costumes and loud noises can cause anxiety and stress in some pets. Make sure they are in a safe place in the house when children visit.
  • If your pet wears a costume, make sure it fits properly and doesn’t hinder its movements. If the costume makes the pet uncomfortable, don’t force him to wear one.