The San Bernardino Police Officers Association wants to remind everyone that Halloween is once again upon us.
For this special evening, we ask that you re-focus from the political events of our community, such as spotting the ghouls and goblins running for local positions, to make sure your priorities are in order for the safety of both children and adults.
Halloween can be fun, but it can also be dangerous if some common sense rules aren’t followed to protect ourselves, our guests and our children.
There are lots of simple ways to help keep everyone safe on Halloween, when accidents and injuries are more likely to occur. Below are some tips that should be reviewed to help keep Halloween a fun night for all.
Halloween Safety for Kids & Teen
1. Never, ever let your children go inside a stranger’s house or approach a home unless you say it’s okay. Always maintain a clear line of sight of your child.
2. Be careful when you cross a street. Make sure to look in both directions and that there are no cars coming. All children in a group should hold hands and cross together. If the street has a stop light, wait for your turn, but you should still look both ways.
3. If you are an older kid or young teen going out with friends, make sure that your parents know where you are going and who you are with (Parents should have the phone number and address of your friends parents).
4. If you are driving friends to a party, make sure that you have enough gas to get there and home.
5. If your parents give you a curfew, be home when they say. If you are going to be late, call and let them know.
6. Don’t eat your candy or fruit until your parent has looked at it first!
Remember that Vandalism (like throwing eggs at vehicles), animal cruelty and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are crimes.These are things that are NEVER the right thing to do and could lead to your arrest. That would ruin the night for you and your friends, as well as others.
Halloween Safety Tips for Drivers
There is so much more foot traffic on Halloween night, the potential for automobile related accidents with pedestrians increases about four times according to a Center for Disease Control study. This makes for added responsibility for all drivers to make sure that they drive safer than normal.
Children and adults tend to be preoccupied and may not pay as much attention to safety as they should. Stay on the defensive and you shouldn’t have a problem while driving on Halloween night. Other safety tips and good practices include:
1. Don’t use a cell phone or other electronic device while driving. You shouldn’t be doing this anyway. Stay alert, drive more cautiously than usual. Pay extra attention to crosswalks, intersections and the side of the road. Keep scanning the roadway as you drive.
2. Drive below the posted speed limit in residential areas, particularly during trick-or-treating hours. This will allow you time to brake if a child darts in front of you.
3. Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway, they could be dropping off children, or allowing children to cross the street.
4. Make sure your child understands that they should never get into a strangers vehicle. Halloween is also a time when child predators are looking for victims. If someone stops them and asks for help or offers them candy, tell them to scream as loud as they can and run.
5. Make sure your child carries a flashlight or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to drivers.
6. If you are dropping off or picking up your kids in an area, pull off the road into a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists.
Halloween Safety Tips for Grown-ups
Parents of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun that they might forget these simple safety tips that can keep everyone out of trouble.
1. If you take your kids to a sponsored event, at a church, school or community center, make sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Even though it seems less dangerous, you are still in a strange environment full of people that you don’t know. All it takes is a minute with your back turned to find your child gone.
2. Cell phones are everywhere now. Make sure that your child has a pre-programmed cell phone with them if they go out on Halloween night!
3. As bad as it sounds, this is just a fact of life now. Get on the internet and check your local state website for sex offenders. Look up your zip code and it should list registered offenders in your area, including street addresses. Make sure your kids stay away from these houses!
4. Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren’t going with them. Let them know that they are to check in with you every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure that they know not to deviate from the planned route so that you always know where they will be.
Trick or treating isn’t what it used to be. San Bernardino has become quite dangerous and there are some areas where it’s not safe to let kids walk the streets by themselves. We suggest “trick or treating” in groups, with an adult or two present.
Make sure you set a time that your kids should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time or to call immediately if something happens and they are going to be delayed.
Serve your kids a filling meal before trick or treating and they won’t be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check.
Make Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for your kids and they’ll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!