Halloween is supposed to be a time of good fun but it is also a time when our children are most vulnerable. Commissioner Jackson and the Garden City Police Department advise all parents, children and motorists of several safeguards and precautions that can be taken to help ensure a safe Halloween:
- Motorists are advised to drive slow and with extreme caution on neighborhood streets. They should be mindful that children will be having fun trick or treating and may not pay attention to moving vehicles. Children trick or treating are more likely to cross in the middle of a block rather than at corners.
- Children should wear light-colored clothing that is short enough to prevent tripping, and add reflective tape. Make sure masks do not obstruct a child’s vision. Go out in daylight but carry a flashlight in case of delay.
- Adults should accompany young children. Place emergency identification tags discreetly in young children’s clothing in case they become separated from their group.
- Young children should stay within their neighborhood and only visit homes they know. Children should be instructed never to enter a home or vehicle of a stranger. Children should have a planned safe return route home.
- Children should be instructed to watch for traffic, stay on sidewalks where available, stay in well-lit areas and avoid cutting across rear yards, alleys and fields.
- For safety reasons, children should visit houses on one side of the street and then cross at a street corner before going to houses on the other side of the street. This will limit the amount of time a child will be in the street.
- Only give and accept wrapped or packaged candy. All candy should be inspected by a responsible adult before consumption.
- Keep costumed children away from pets. The pet may not recognize the child and become frightened.
- Children should be instructed to be courteous and respectful to others when trick or treating, and not be a nuisance to their neighbors. Children should be reminded to avoid pranks such as but not limited to, ringing door bells, throwing eggs, spraying shaving cream or spraying silly string, which can be very dangerous and could result in serious injuries to others. Avoid hard plastic or wood props such as daggers or swords.
- Homeowners should clear their sidewalks and yards of obstacles and decorations that may be difficult to see in the dark. Pets should be kept away from children.
Be alert for any unusual circumstance. Notify the Police Department of anything of a suspicious nature immediately by calling 911. As a reminder, the Police non-emergency line is 465-4100.