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Sikeston's DPS offers a few tips for Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SIKESTON -- Children are gearing up for Halloween but there are some things parents should keep in mind to keep their kids safe, according to a recent news release from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.

The fact is pedestrians on Halloween are four times more likely to be hit by a vehicle than any other night. Parents should keep this and some other tips in mind when they plan for this event.

Parents should accompany their child while trick or treating, the news release advised. A group is easier to see than a lone trick or treater. Don't let a child cross the street in-between cars; use crosswalks and sidewalks when available.

Each costume should have some type of reflective material to enhance their ability to be seen. Reflective tape can be purchased to supplement any costume and parents should give kids a flashlight or chemlite (glow stick). Children should walks from house to house. This will lessen the chance that they will trip or run into traffic.

Trick or treaters should only go to well-lit homes and stay on one side of the block before crossing the road to go to the other homes on that street. Crossing the road from house to house greatly increases the chance a child may be struck by a vehicle.

Also, some masks interfere with peripheral vision. Painted faces are the safest method, but if masks are worn, have children remove them before they walk to the next house.

Pin a name tag with emergency information on each child's costume. This will be invaluable in the event a child becomes lost or wanders from the group.

Motorists need to drive slower than usual to accommodate the increased pedestrian traffic, especially in residential neighborhoods. Motorists should not drink and drive and ensure everyone has properly fastened their seat belts in the vehicle.

Homeowners participating need to have their homes well lit and be sure to clear their yard of hazards. andy tampering is rare, but parents should inspect a child's candy prior to consumption.

The Sikeston DPS will have extra patrol out during trick or treating hours and recommends all trick or treating ends by 9 p.m.