Halloween Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips from Iowa City Police

A few tips from the Iowa City Police to keep your kids safe this Halloween.

City Release:

Trick-or-Treat night in Iowa City will be Wednesday, October 31, from dusk to 8:00 pm. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children, carry a flashlight, make sure the children wear costumes with reflective tape and/or light colored clothing, and instruct them not to eat any treats until they are brought home and examined.

Halloween is a fun holiday for children and parents. However the excitement of the night can lead one to forget about being careful. Both children and adults need to think about safety.

To have an enjoyable time the Iowa City Police Department would like to remind everyone of the following safety tips:

• Motorists - be especially alert on Halloween - watch for children darting out from between parked cars - watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs - enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully - at twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

• Parents - make sure an adult or older responsible youth will be supervising trick-or-treaters - plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow - instruct your children to travel only on familiar areas and along the established route - teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit and to never enter a stranger's home - tell youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home and you have had a chance to inspect it - review all appropriate trick or treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules - don't assume the right of way-motorists may have trouble seeing.

• Costume Design - only fire retardant materials should be used for costumes - costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard - if children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored material or strips of reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

• Face Design - masks should not obstruct a child's vision-consider using facial make up - if masks are worn they should have nose and mouth openings with large - if facial make up is worn be sure to check packaging that is labeled "made with U.S. approved color additives", "laboratory tested", "meets federal standards for cosmetics", or "non-toxic".

• Accessories - knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects. - bags or sacks carried by children should be light colored or trimmed with reflective tape - carrying flashlights will help everyone see better.

• Treats - give children an early meal before going out to discourage them from filling up on Halloween treats before they are inspected - insist treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten - wash fruit - when in doubt about a treat, throw it out.

• Jack O' Lanterns - while children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O' Lantern, carving should be left to an adult - keep Jack O' Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials, or areas where children will be walking or standing - take time to check and remove items from sidewalks and porches that children may trip over.

Report any unlawful or suspicious activity to the Iowa City Police Department.


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