Milton Police Chief Deborah Harrell issued a list of tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween, which falls on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
- Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
- Use make-up instead of a mask. Masks often obstruct a child's vision, making tasks like crossing the street and going up and down stairs dangerous.
- Make sure children wear light colors, put reflective tape on their costumes, or carry flashlights and/or glow sticks. The chances of a child getting hit by a car increase by four times on Halloween, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
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The Trick or Treating
- Make sure older children trick-or-treat with friends, never alone, and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Parents should map out a safe route and stress staying in well-lighted, populated areas. Adults should accompany young children.
- Instruct children to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
- Remind children not to enter the homes or cars of strangers. Instruct them to scream and run if a stranger stops them and offers them candy to get in a vehicle.
- Follow your community's trick-or-treating hours (generally early afternoon to 9 p.m. in Milton, though this varies by neighborhood, so check with your neighbors or homeowners' association).
- A good alternative to "trick-or-treating" is for parents to organize parties at home, in schools, or in community centers.
- If driving your children from neighborhood to neighborhood, be extra careful and:
- Place something highly visible on your car (like an electric Jack-O-Lantern) so your child does not accidentally get in another person's vehicle
- Drive below the posted speed limit
- Do not text or use a cell phone
- Do not pass stopped cars, as they may be letting out children
- Park in a safe spot and use hazard lights while dropping children off
- Remind children not to eat any of their treats until they get home.
- Parents should check all treats at home in a well-lighted area and dispose of anything that seems to have been tampered with, has been opened, or is not wrapped.
- Remember to also inspect fruits for anything suspicious.
As always, the City of Milton Police Department is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist residents. In an emergency, always call 911. Otherwise, dial 678-297-6300 Option 1 for the non-emergency dispatch line or visit the department's Facebook page by clicking here.