Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 23, 2012

GPD offers Halloween safety tips

Rob Cox
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — The Greensburg Police Department (GPD) has once again released its annual “Halloween Safety Tips” flyer for Halloween.

The flyer is released in conjunction with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children as a service to help parents and children prepare for a safe night of trick-or-treating.

The Decatur County Commissioners have formally designated Decatur County trick-or-treating hours from 5 to 8 p.m., Oct. 31.

According to the flyer, parents shouldn’t allow young children to trick-or-treat alone. Parents should walk younger children to the door, always keeping the door in view.

Additionally, children should never enter a house without permission and should visit only familiar homes, accepting Halloween treats only from people they know.

Children also shouldn’t visit homes that lack proper lighting, nor should they go near unfamiliar vehicles. In the event a stranger attempts to grab a child, he or she should be trained to scream and “make a scene.”

Parents and children alike are advised to note suspicious people or incidents and report them. Older children should trick-or-treat in groups, using the “Buddy System.”

When youngsters hit the streets on Halloween evening at 5 p.m., the sun will still be out. By the end of the appointed Greensburg hours, however, darkness will be falling, and it’s important to prepare children for lowered visibility.

Children should trick-or-treat in reflective or brightly-colored clothing and costumes. For darker costumes, parents should consider adding a reflective stripe. Also, each child should carry a flashlight, glow stick or other device that makes them clearly visible as darkness falls.

The GPD also recommends using face paint instead of a mask, but children with masks should be able to see and breathe clearly and should remove or lift the mask when crossing roadways.

In addition, parents should purchase only costumes and masks labeled as “flame resistant,” taking care that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.

Parents should thoroughly inspect all candy and treats — even those from familiar sources. Any unwrapped or open item should be discarded.

Police should be immediately notified of suspicious or possibly-tampered-with treats. Parents are advised, too, to feed children a full meal before trick-or-treating and to forbid them from eating treats before thorough inspection.

For more information on Halloween and trick-or-treating safety, contact the GPD at 663-3131, or the Greensburg Fire Department at 663-8671.

The GPD’s “Halloween Safety Tips” flyer can be obtained at the GPD station, located at 201 South Broadway, two blocks south of Greensburg’s Courthouse Square.

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.