SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – With Halloween just days away, police shared safety tips to keep in mind while ahead of the holiday. Their advice is recommended for trick-or-treaters and those who plan to be on the roads as well.
It’s a night for tricks and treats. All across the Upstate, people will be getting into the Halloween spirit Monday one door knock at a time.
“If you have kids that are going out, just make sure they have a buddy system and make sure you know where your kids are going,” said Maj. Art Littlejohn, Spartanburg Police Department.
Maj. Littlejohn said it’s one of the busiest nights of the year in Spartanburg for their officers.
“We have a number of officers that are already working that will handle our regular calls for service, but we will have an additional officers in certain neighborhoods where we know there is going to be a large number of kids and pedestrians,” said Littlejohn.
With an increased number of people out and about, the scares extend past the festivities.
“Halloween is one of the deadliest nights of the year for pedestrians so it’s very important for people take measure to stay safe and take measures basically to stay seen on Halloween,” said Penny Shaw, Safe Kids of the Piedmont.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian fatalities are more than 40% higher on Halloween. Police said that’s one of their biggest concerns for the holiday.
“I think drivers have to understand that children are not paying attention. Kids are excited to go to the next house and to get candy,” said Littlejohn.
Police said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and also make sure you’re seen.
According to the American Red Cross, flash lights, glow sticks, and reflective tape/clothing can help make you and your children more visible. They also recommend wearing light-colored clothing/costumes, if possible.
“You have kids who are wearing costumes, they may not be able to see as well. And again, they are just really excited. They are with their friends and the only thing they are thinking about is the next house,” said Littlejohn.
Whether you plan to dress up for the holiday, or not, experts advise you to know your plan before heading out.
“The thing is, if you make a plan, than you can prevent the injury. If you go haphazardly trick-or-treating and you don’t discuss the measures that you want to take to be safe, injuries can happen,” said Shaw.
Don’t forget about the sweets! Officers recommend letting an adult check children’s candy before digging into the treats.
Here are additional tips from the American Red Cross for parents to keep in mind while getting their kids ready for Halloween this year:
- Trick-or-treaters need to see and be seen. Use face makeup instead of masks which could make seeing difficult. Give trick-or-treaters a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. If possible, have everyone wear light-colored clothing.
- Use flame-resistant costumes.
- Make sure adults know where the kids are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door.
- Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
- Walk, don’t run.
- Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door and never go inside.
- Walk only on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars, and don’t cut across yards or use alleys.
- Drivers — use extra caution as youngsters may forget to look both ways before crossing.
- A grown-up should check all goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and remove any choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.
If you are planning to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home, the American Red Cross recommends the following:
- Light the area well so young visitors can see.
- Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.