• 68°

Rowan Sheriff provides Halloween safety tips, precautions

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has a number of “common-sense practices” and tips to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween.

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

The sheriff reminds all Rowan County residents to follow these safety tips:

COVID-19 safety

• Follow state and county health policies.

• Limit participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door.

• Halloween costume masks are not suitable to provide COVID-19 protection.

• Promote the use of hand sanitizer by trick-or-treaters and their families.

• Announce if there are any curfews in place.

• Encourage social distancing.

• Decline trunk-or-treat opportunities where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.

• Do not attend crowded costume parties held indoors.

• Avoid going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.

• Discourage going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.

Automobile safety

• Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Parent precautions

• Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will supervise 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. You can view maps that pinpoint registered offenders’ addresses in your neighborhood and sign up to get email alerts when an offender moves nearby.

• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow and know the names of older children’s companions.

• Make sure older children trick-or-treat in a group.

• Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.

• Establish a return time.

• Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.

• Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.

• All children need to know their home telephone number and how to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.

• Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address, and telephone number inside a pocket in case the they get separated from the group.

Costume design precautions

• Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.

• Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.

• Costumes should not be so long that they become a tripping hazard.

• Make sure that shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.

• If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light-colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Face design safety

• Do not use masks as they can obstruct a child’s vision. Use face makeup instead.

• When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages that contain ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” “Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for application.

• If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.


• Knives, swords, and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

• Bags or sacks carried by youth should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.

• Children should carry flashlights with fresh batteries to help them see better and be seen more clearly.

While trick-or-treating

• Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.

• Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.

• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.

• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

“Halloween is a fun time in Rowan County, but let’s make it a safe time as well. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes,” Auten said.


• 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 wrapped or has a strange odor, color or texture.

Homeowners and decorations

• 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.



Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301


Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map


Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers


One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list


No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road


RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years


Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet


Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament


Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina


House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot


Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?


Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road


Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business


Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges


Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting


Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest


N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding


RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest


Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction


Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured