Halloween is the time for children to let their imaginations run wild, but authorities said that when out trick or treating Thursday, everyone needs to remember that safety is key to a happy evening.
Denton police Officer Orlando Hinojosa said traffic units will be monitoring the streets, but keeping children safe starts with adult supervision.
“You need to have an adult with you at all times, and don’t run across the street,” he said Tuesday. “Running across the street is very dangerous and with it being dark out, you might not be seen.”
Hinojosa said that since the holiday is on a school night this year, he doesn’t expect large crowds to be roaming late in the evening. Even so, he said, the safest plan is to trick or treat during daylight hours.
“Go earlier in the evening if you can,” he said. “It’s easier to see children then.”
Police officials said children should wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or glow stick, just in case they can’t make it back home before it gets dark.
Hinojosa said children should travel in groups accompanied by adults. Another important safety tip, he said, is to make sure children can see and breathe easily through whatever mask, wig or beard they are wearing as part of a costume.
Parents also should check every bag of goodies before items are eaten to make sure nothing bad has been added, police said.
“You need to check wrappers of prepackaged treats for signs of tampering and throw away anything unwrapped,” Hinojosa said.
Greg Johnson, public education officer for the Denton Fire Department, said Halloween is also an important time for everyone to practice fire safety.
“Tell kids to stay away from candles and jack-o’-lanterns that may be on steps and porches,” he said. “Their costumes could catch fire if they get too close.”
Johnson said parents should purchase costumes labeled as flame resistant and teach children that if clothing does catch fire, they should stop, drop, cover and roll until the flames are out.
Fire officials said using candles for decorations is dangerous at any time and should never be left unattended. Homeowners should also carefully check decorations that have electric lights.
“Use only decorative lights tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory,” Johnson said. “Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw away damaged sets and don’t overload extension cords.”
Johnson said those who plan a party and invite people who smoke should check carefully to make sure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished.
Remembering these tips, officials said, will help make sure families have a safe and fun holiday.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.