Sheriff offers Oct. 31 safety tips

Published 5:23 am Friday, October 28, 2016

Special to  The Daily News

Halloween is approaching quickly and there  large groups of children to be out and about in the community Monday night.

Sheriff Randy Seal said that it’s important to keep safety in mind, to make sure that everyone has a good time.

“As your sheriff, my primary concern for Halloween, and any other time, is the safety of our children,” Seal said. “The following are some common sense safety tips and I hope you will review these with your children before they begin their ‘trick-or-treat’ adventure.”

In the city of Bogalusa, the official Halloween trick-or-treating hours are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday.

Seal’s safety tips include:

• Fake knives, swords, guns and other costume accessories can potentially cause injury. Always make certain your child understands these props are only part of the costume and not a weapon. Also, make certain the accessories are made out of cardboard or other flexible materials.

• Only purchase costumes and accessories that are marked flame-resistant and keep costumes short to help prevent trips and falls.

Costumes with light colors and/or reflective tape are best. Consider placing reflective tape on “trick-or-treat” bags.

• Consider using make-up instead of a mask. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, making it dangerous when children are crossing streets or going up and down steps.

• Children should always “trick or treat” in groups, preferably with adult supervision. Someone in the group should always carry a cell phone and a flashlight.

• Parents should select the safest route for children to take and remind them to stay on sidewalks or on the shoulder of the roadway facing traffic. Children should avoid walking in the roadway or in poorly-lit areas. They should always be cautious not to dart from behind shrubs or parked vehicles.

• Drivers should slow down when “trick-or-treaters” may be out and about and should use extreme caution in any area where children may be located.

• Children should stop only at familiar homes and only where outside lights are turned on. They should never enter a home, building or car to collect treats.

• As an alternative to going door-to-door, parents should consider taking their children to church, community or school sponsored events.

• Children should never eat any treats until they get home and a parent or responsible adult can examine the treats. Only unopened treats in original wrappers should be consumed and treats with open packaging or torn wrappers should be discarded. Fruit and homemade treats should always be inspected for anything that looks suspicious.

“With a little preparation, Halloween can be a safe and enjoyable time,” Seal said. “Remember, our Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies will be patrolling during the Halloween season. If you have a problem, do not hesitate to call our office at 985-839-3434.”