Mayor Annise Parker joined costumed children and representatives of the Houston Police and Fire Departments at a home in Woodland Heights this morning to offer tips for a safe Halloween.
“Halloween is a time for children of all ages to have a good time with family and friends,” said Mayor Parker. “It can also be dangerous for our young goblins, ghosts and ghouls who are excited and maybe not paying close attention to their own safety. We want trick-or-treating to be fun and safe for everyone.”
The mayor, HPD and HFD offer the following safety tips:
• Always go in a group. Don’t let young children walk alone. For older children, make sure you know where they are going and that they are with a supervised group with a responsible adult.
• Be cautious of strangers; never go into a stranger’s house or accept a ride from a stranger.
• Only approach houses where the outside lights are on as a signal of welcome.
• If you feel threatened or in danger while trick or treating you can go to any Houston fire or police station.
• Have children wear light colored or reflective costumes and don’t let them wear masks that obstruct their vision. Face painting is safer than a mask. Add reflective tape to your child’s costume if it isn’t already reflective. Also make sure their costumes fit and won’t cause them to trip or fall. Costumes should be flame retardant. Carry a flashlight or glow stick so you can be seen.
• Children should wait until they get home to eat candy. Parents should examine the candy for possible tampering; if it looks suspicious, is not wrapped or is loosely wrapped, get rid of it.
• Motorists need to be extra cautious and watch out for trick-or-treaters – especially after dark.
• Illuminate pumpkins with small flashlights or battery operated candles instead of real candles. If using candles, keep them away from curtains and combustible items, including decorations. They should not be placed along walkways where costumes might brush against them.
The HPD Juvenile Division and patrol officers have been busy this week checking the residences of registered sex offenders. Not all sex offenders are barred from contact with children, but officers are making sure that those that are meet the conditions of their parole or probation and are not giving out candy.
HFD reminds us that the end of Daylight Savings Time this weekend is a good time to make sure the battery in your smoke detector is working. There are now smoke detectors on the market with batteries that will last up to 10 years.