Halloween Safety Tips from the MLT Police Advisory Board


Trick or Treating? The Mountlake Terrace Community Policing Advisory Board Encourages You to Be Safe and Have Fun!

Before Trick-or-Treating:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on sweets.
  • Test any makeup on a small area first and make sure it is non-toxic
  • Help drivers see you. Fasten reflective tape on clothing and bags.
  • Take a flashlight with fresh batteries to help you see and others see you.
  • Any swords, knives or other costume accessories should be soft, flexible and not sharp.
  • Wear bright, reflective, flame resistant costumes and keep it short to avoid tripping.

Out and About:

  • Use a flashlight at all times
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.
  • For your older children going alone or with friends, plan and review an acceptable route. Agree on a time when they should return home.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the yard’s edge facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Look both ways when crossing. Only cross the street as a group and use established crosswalks where possible. Never cross between parked cars.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Drivers can have trouble seeing you. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
  • Stay in a group and communicate where you will be going.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat. Enter homes only with a trusted adult.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication and be sure the older kids know how and when to dial 911.
  • The local police should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
  • Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell “This person is not my father/mother/guardian”; and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.
  • Unless you know for sure the food item is safe, wait to eat anything until it is inspected after you get home.

After you return:

  • Inspect all food and candy and throw away any unwrapped or suspicious
  • items, especially those that may be a choking hazard.
  • Try rationing the treats in the days following.
  • Remove any makeup before bedtime.

Halloween Fun at Home

  • Adults should carve pumpkins but children can draw a face with markers so adults can do the cutting.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended. Use votive candles in metal cups.
  • To prepare for visiting trick-or-treaters, remove anything and everything from your porch and yard that people could trip over, such as garden hoses, bikes, toys, and lawn decorations. Sweep up the dead leaves.
  • Check to make sure your outdoor lights are properly working.

Halloween Pet Safety

  • No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.
  • Restrain pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept away from the front door during trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

(Image: trick or treating in the marina district of san francisco – dscf6957, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from seandreilinger’s photostream)


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