It’s that time of year when little ghosts and ghouls run around at night, dressed in dark colors, and gobble candy from strangers.
To prevent this combination from brewing danger, police are reminding parents to use common sense and follow some safety rules.
"It should be a safe and fun night for everybody, but there is a darker side of the holiday," said Tempe Sgt. Dan Masters.
When selecting costumes, look for light-colored clothing short enough to prevent tripping, and put reflective tape on the sides, front and back. Have kids wear makeup instead of a mask so their vision is not obstructed. Costume props should be of cardboard or have dull edges, and children should carry flashlights.
"Stick to your general neighborhood," said Scottsdale detective Sam Bailey. "I can’t recall any problems with tainted candy, but parents should examine candy when coming home."
Check candy for holes in wrappers or loose wrappers and only allow children to eat homemade treats if certain they are from a safe source. Fruit should be washed and cut into bites and kids should not accept unwrapped candy.
Children should only use established crosswalks and be in groups and not try to cross streets from between vehicles. Don’t assume drivers will see trick-or-treaters.
People handing out candy should keep their property well lit and free from ladders, hoses and other obstacles. Pets also should be controlled to prevent inadvertent bites.
Place jack-o’-lanterns away from foot traffic and make sure paper or cloth decorations will not blow into candles.
Notify police of any suspicious activity or unlawful acts. Explain to children that damaging property is a crime, even if meant as a Halloween trick.
Trick-or-treating safety tips
• Only go to homes with porch lights on
• Never cut across yards or walk through alleys
• Walk on sidewalks only, but if there is no sidewalk, stay on the far edge of the roadway facing traffic
• Never enter a stranger’s car or home
• Always watch traffic and be aware of cars backing out of driveways or pulling in
Source: Tempe and Mesa police
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