Sheriff Issues Safety Tips for Halloween

imgresPutnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith is reminding all Putnam County residents to be especially careful during the evening hours of October 31st, as many of our young people throughout the County will be out and about celebrating Halloween or Harvest Fest.  Parents are urged to follow the following safety tips:

  1. Costume Tips:
    • Face Paint is safer than a mask – and it’s more fun!
    • If your child does wear a mask, make sure it has adequate holes for proper respiration and peripheral vision.
  2. Trick-or-Treaters should:
  • Wear some sort of reflective clothing.
  • Carry a bright orange bag.
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Walk on the sidewalk or on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Either a parent or older child should stay within close range and never let the children go down a street by themselves.  Walk with the children to each house and wait in the driveway or by the door until the children return.
  • Never venture down dark, empty streets.
  • Let parents know their route.
  • Always walk together to the front door of each house.
  • Never run across yards or streets.
  • Never go to the door of a house that seems unoccupied or has no outside lights on.
  • Parents should closely inspect all candy and throw away all unwrapped or opened candy or suspicious looking goodies.
  • Try to determine what the child has eaten and where it came from.  Save all wrappers.
  • Remember – your jack-o-lantern and any other electrical decorations can be a fire hazard.  Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from flammable materials.
  1. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult:
  1. Older children should always travel in pairs or groups – they should:
  1. Avoid dark, unlighted houses:
  1. Children should save all candy until they get home:
  1. If your child becomes ill, call your doctor or emergency room IMMEDIATELY!
  1. Avoid fire hazards:

9.   Never leave your house unattended:

  • An empty house on Halloween is an invitation to trouble.  If you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.

Sheriff Smith noted that the Sheriff’s Office, the State Police, and local police departments plan to have an increased number of patrols on duty during the evening of October 31st.  Community organizations like REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams) will also have volunteer members out to act as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.

The Sheriff expressed that he wanted youngsters and families to enjoy the traditional festivities and fun associated with the evening in a safe manner, but said that patrols would not tolerate actions of lawbreakers who compromise other’s safety or perpetrate mischief.  “Children dressing up in cute costumes, getting treats, bobbing for apples—those are positive parts of the night.  But causing mischief and damaging or defacing other people’s property—those are very negative activities that will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”