Police Promote Safe Trick-Or-Treating; Alternatives Abound

(October 31, 2007)—Law enforcement officers will be keeping a close eye on little ghosts and goblins Tuesday evening and they’re urging motorists to do the same.

"Children and adults will be walking through neighborhoods all across Texas on Wednesday night,” said Texas DPS Director Col. Thomas A. Davis, Jr.

“Many of those pedestrians will not be watching out for their safety, so drivers will have to be extra vigilant.”

Local officials in cities such as Killeen suggest parents take their children trick-or-treating between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday.

But for parents who would rather not turn the children loose on the neighborhood, there are organized alternatives.

In Killeen, there’s a free Halloween carnival from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Special Events Center at 3601 W. S. Young Dr.

In Temple, the Scott & White Children’s Miracle Network Halloween Kidfest is from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Mayborn Center at 3303 N. 3rd St.

Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo hosts the annual Zoo Boo from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free.

The South Waco Recreation Center has a Halloween celebration from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and there’s a Halloween carnival from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Waco’s Dewey Recreation Center.

Click Here For More Halloween Activities

Halloween Safety Tips
(Source: Temple Fire and Rescue)

Before and during trick-or-treating
Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.
Avoid baggy costumes and poor fitting shoes which are trip and fall hazards.
Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.
To improve visibility to motorists, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape.
Young children should be accompanied by an adult. Children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street. Children shouldn't run out from between parked cars, and never cut across yards.
Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
Many Churches and stores offer organized festivities as a safe alternative to neighborhood trick-or treating.

Homeowners expecting trick-or-treaters
Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, or porches.
Keep exits clear of decorations, making sure nothing blocks escape routes.
Keep open flames and heat sources such as light bulbs away from highly flammable decorations such as dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper.
Use extreme caution if decorating with candles, and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. Never leave candles burning unattended.
Secure indoor pets. Excited and costumed kids could startle a pet resulting in an injured child. Keep candy away from your pets which can be a choking hazard. Chocolate can be fatal for dogs.

General Safety
Drivers should stay cautious, drive slowly and stay alert for kids crossing the street.
Adult partygoers should designate and reward a driver for the evening.
If entertaining, check under sofa cushions for smoldering cigarettes before going to bed. Use caution when disposing of smoking materials.
Before kids eat treats from the evening, adults should examine candy to check for evidence of tampering.

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