Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2003

Police offer tips for safe Halloween

October 30, 2003

Typically, Oct. 31 in Basehor is a safe night with little or no instances of crime or accidents. It's a trend the Basehor Police Department wants to continue on Friday night when the streets will be busy with children trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Basehor police chief Vince Weston recommended that children, and parents accompanying them, confine their trick-or-treating to hours between 6 and 9 p.m.

"After 9 p.m., children young enough to be out trick-or-treating shouldn't be on the streets," Weston said.

The recommended hours of 6 to 9 p.m. are not enforced by city ordinance but merely a logical suggestion from the police department to highlight safe Halloween practices, the police chief said.

Other safety tips suggested by the police department include:

  • Carrying a flashlight or glow sticks at all times.
  • Dress in light colored clothing to be seen easier by motorists.
  • Reinforce basic, everyday safety lessons to children such as not getting into cars with strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to.
  • Do not cross the street in the middle of the block.
  • If a child is carrying a prop, make sure the tips are smooth and flexible enough not to cause injury if fallen on.
  • Make sure children's costumes are fire proof and do not impair vision.
  • Inspect all candy given to children.

"If any of it is questionable, pitch it," Weston said.

Another helpful tip in this area, taken from the Web site, is treating children to a large, spooky Halloween dinner. They might be less likely to eat candy collected before a parent as a chance to inspect it, according to the Web site.

  • Be aware of the homes selected for trick or treating.

"If a house is obviously not occupied, there should be no reason to go to the door," Weston said. "It's also a good idea if there is no porch light or decorative light, the house should be bypassed."

The police department also suggests homeowners abide by some simple rules to ensure children visiting their home will be safe. They include:

  • Keep animals inside during trick or treating hours.
  • If participating, keep homes and walkways lighted for safety.
  • If setting a jack-o-lantern on the porch with candles inside, make sure the pumpkin is far enough away to avoid contact with children's costumes.

The police department will have extra patrols out on Friday night. For more information on Halloween safety, contact the Police Department at (913) 724-1370.

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