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Prepare for a Safe Halloween

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Sheriff Michael W. Neustrom and Deputies with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office offer the following tips to assist with creating a safe and happy Halloween experience.

Before Halloween:

· Plan costumes and accessories that are bright, reflective, fit well and are flame resistant.
· For greater visibility, add reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags.
· Secure emergency identification discreetly (name, address, phone number) within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
· Consider non-toxic makeup as an alternative to masks that can block eyesight.
· Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If they are used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
· Plan and review with your children the route and behavior that is acceptable to you.
· Plan ahead to use only battery-powered lanterns or chemical light sticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
· This is also a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home Smoke Alarms.
· Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free at any payphone.
· Review with children the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll,” should their clothes catch fire.
· Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.
·Purchase individually packaged candies and treats for distribution to Trick-or-Treaters.
· Clear pathways on your porch and walkway to avoid trips and falls.
· Consider safe party guidelines when hosting an adult or office party.

During Trick-or-Treating:

· A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.
Remind Trick-or-Treaters:
· By using a flashlight, one can see and be seen by others.
· Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
· Seek treats from those homes with a porch light on – only!
· Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
· If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
· Never cut across yards or use alleys.
· Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
· Obey all traffic and pedestrian rules.
· Always walk across a street. Never run.
· Cross the street as a group in established crosswalks.
· Remove any mask that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
· Do not assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble spotting Trick-or-Treaters.
· Never consume food items or drinks that may be offered. · No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.
· Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

After Trick-or-Treating:

· Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. A responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
· Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
· Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.


Sheriff Neustrom concluded, “Remember, a few simple safety precautions can mean the difference between a fun and memorable celebration, or one spoiled by an avoidable incident. Keep safe and have a great Halloween.”



Donna Delahoussaye
Public Information Officer
Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office
(337) 236-5814 (337) 232-9211