Halloween is now upon us and Troopers want everyone to make sure safety is a top priority. As our children in costumes walk and ride through neighborhoods across Louisiana, parents and guardians should be mindful of possible hazards and dangerous situations. To ensure that trick-or-treating is a safe and memorable event for everyone, we recommend following these common safety tips:
· Ensure that your child carries a flashlight or glow stick, and/or wears reflective clothing or costumes to alert drivers of the child’s location.
· Masks can restrict vision and breathing, restricting sight of oncoming vehicles. Face painting is a safe option.
· Costumes should fit children correctly and not drag the ground, as this could create a tripping hazard.
· Children should be accompanied by adults/parents and should not be allowed to enter homes or vehicles without their supervision.
· Plan your trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
· Always walk on sidewalks when available. If walking on the street is necessary, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
· Children should also know their address, phone number, and how to dial 911 for emergencies. Young children should have this information attached somewhere on their costume in the event they get separated or lost.
· Parents are urged to inspect all candy for safety after returning home.
Motorists should also use caution and drive slowly through residential areas and intersections leading to neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters may run across the street without looking for vehicles or their vision could be obscured by masks. Also, Troopers ask that you drive with your headlights on, even during daylight and dusk hours, so that other vehicles and pedestrians are able to see you from farther distances.
Under current State Law, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to participate in Halloween trick-or-treat activities. Parents can find accurate information regarding the presence of sex offenders and predators in their neighborhoods by visiting the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry online at: http://www.lsp.org/socpr/default.html. If you become aware of a sex offender who is attending costume parties or giving out candy where children are present, notify your local law enforcement immediately.
Halloween has also been a deadly night due to impaired drivers. Adults that take part in Halloween parties and trick-or-treating while consuming alcoholic beverages are strongly encouraged to have a plan for a safe ride home. Your plan can include calling a taxi or having a designated driver. Troopers ask that sober party goers also help out by keeping impaired friends from getting behind the wheel.