PEPPERELL — Chief David Scott and the Pepperell Police Department would like to offer residents some important safety tips as Halloween approaches, to ensure everyone celebrates safely and responsibly.
Trick-or-treating hours in Pepperell are set for 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.
“On behalf of the entire Pepperell Police Department, we want to make sure our residents have a safe and happy Halloween,” said Chief Scott. “We encourage residents to follow these simple tips and report any suspicious activity to the police department right away.”
The Pepperell Police Department recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Make sure that shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- If temperatures are cold during trick-or-treating time, be sure kids wear long sleeves and warm clothing under their costume.
- Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly so they don’t slide over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to make sure there will be no adverse reactions.
- When shopping for costume pieces, look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- If a sword, cane or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he or she stumbles or trips.
- Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers before parents do the cutting.
- Consider lighting your pumpkin with a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to avoid a fire hazard. If you use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects and not on a porch or in a path where visitors may pass close by. Lit pumpkins should never be left unattended.
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you and send them with a cellphone. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
- Pedestrian injuries are very common on Halloween. Remind kids to stay in a group. They should remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If there is not a sidewalk, walk at the far edge of the street facing traffic. Only cross the street as a group and in a crosswalk. Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways and never cut across yards or through alleys.
- Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
- Review with children how to call 911 if they have an emergency or become lost.
- Always check your kids’ candy for signs of tampering and throw away candy that appears to have been opened, even partially.
Keeping Your Home Safe for Trick-or-Treaters
- Remove any objects from your porch or walkways that could put children in danger of tripping, including garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations. Sweep wet leaves or snow from sidewalks and steps.
- Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Restrain pets so they do not jump on or bite a trick-or-treater or run away.
As always, any suspicious person or vehicle should immediately be reported to Pepperell Police by dialing 911.