Halloween is just a few days away, and as kids and adults alike get their costumes and candy bowls ready, they should also keep a few safety tips in mind.
The Sedalia Police Department has offered some tips on staying safe no matter what your Halloween plans are.
For those driving trick-or-treaters, motorists should remain cautious and drive slowly through the community, keeping an eye out for young ones more focused on candy than looking both ways. Both motorists and pedestrians should obey traffic laws.
Costumes should be bright and reflective, such as adding reflective tape to costumes or treat bags to increase nighttime visibility. To help even further, consider providing a flashlight or glow sticks.
Before children start their trick-or-treating, SPD recommends parents talk with them about proper safety, including:
• Ensure a responsible adult will be supervising the outing. Know the names of your child’s companions.
• Plan and discuss the route they intend to follow. Encourage them to travel only in familiar areas and along the established route.
• Remind children to only stop at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and to never enter a stranger’s home.
• Establish a return time.
• Teach the child their home phone number and how to dial 911 if they have an emergency.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten — when in doubt, throw it out.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to SPD by calling 911 or reporting non-emergencies to 660-826-8100.
Area communities also offer alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating. The Sedalia branch of Boonslick Regional Library will host a teen night from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday. Teens ages 12 to 18 are invited to visit the library and watch a Halloween movie while eating pizza, snacks and drinks in the downstairs meeting room.
Warrensburg Main Street will host its annual downtown trick-or-treat and Halloween events from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday. Businesses will pass out candy and treats to participating children. The Johnson County Fire Department will provide complimentary hot dogs at the fire station, located near Gay and Holden streets. There will also be pony rides on West Market Street beside the Johnson County Courthouse. The University of Central Missouri Dance Club will perform “Thriller” at the corner of Holden and Pine streets during the event. There will be a costume contest in front of the Old Drum Statue on the courthouse lawn at 5:30 p.m.
When it comes to decorations, don’t overload electrical outlets and keep Jack O’ Lanterns away from drapes, decorations or other flammable materials; consider using a battery-operated light instead. If you plan to hand out candy , turn the porch light on and keep walkways clear of tripping hazards.
The Humane Society of Missouri also offered a few tips on keeping furry friends safe and comfortable on Halloween.
According to a HSM news release, pets should be kept inside away from trick-or-treaters and other activities to ensure they don’t become frightened or feel threatened, and it can be difficult to handle dogs while trick-or-treating.
Unfortunately, cats, especially black cats, may be the target of pranksters on Halloween, so owners are advised to keep them inside. For those pets who wear their own costumes, owners should make sure the pets are comfortable and the costume doesn’t cover the pet’s eyes.
Pet owners should also keep an eye on the constantly-opening door on Halloween to make sure pets don’t escape outside. That tasty candy should also be kept out of reach of pets, as candy can be harmful to pets, and chocolate is toxic and potentially life-threatening to cats, dogs and ferrets.