Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents, trick-or-treat time may be a bit tricky. I would like to provide the following safety tips to help you plan a safe, fun Halloween for your family.
• Face paint is safer than a mask - and it's more fun!
• Choose costumes in light colors or add reflective tape.
• Check that costumes are flame-retardant and not so long as to pose a tripping hazard.
• Travel in pairs or groups and stay together.
• Walk on the sidewalk or on the left side of the road facing traffic.
• Stop, look and listen at corners.
• Plan a safe route; stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
• Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
• Carry a cell phone if trick or treating without an adult.
• Be respectful of other people and their property.
Trick-or-Treaters Should NOT:
• Go inside a stranger's house or get into a stranger's car.
• Run across yards or streets.
• Venture down dark, empty streets.
• Approach dark, unlighted houses.
• Go between parked cars or crisscross back and forth across streets.
Parents with Younger Children:
• Should accompany young children.
• Plan to trick-or-treat while it's still light out.
• Walk with your children to each house and wait in the driveway for them.
• Children should save all their candy until they get home.
• Feed your children a meal or substantial snack before trick or treating so they are less tempted to eat the candy.
• Inspect all treats when you get home. Throw away any unwrapped, open, or suspicious looking goodies.
• If your child becomes suddenly ill, IMMEDIATELY call your doctor or dial 911! Try to determine what the child has eaten and where it came from. Save all wrappers.
• Put away anything trick-or-treaters could trip over.
• Turn the lights on and replace any burned-out bulbs at the walkway and front door.
• Remember, your jack-o-lantern and any other candles or electrical decorations can be a fire hazard. Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from flammable materials.
• Never leave your house unattended. If you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.
Even if you don't have children:
• If driving on Halloween, watch for trick or treaters in the streets and darting out from between parked cars.
• If hosting or attending a Halloween celebration that includes alcohol, be responsible! Don't drink and drive!
We also recommend that you map out your route and check it against the New York State Sex Offender Registry at criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor. It is a good practice to check in with this vital public safety resource a couple of times each year.
Review these safety guidelines with your family and set ground rules before heading out. Our office will have increased patrols on Oct. 31, but a little planning on your part is the best way to ensure a safe, fun Halloween.
Don’t damage election signs
In this contentious election season emotions are high and loyalties run deep. It is only natural to want our preferred candidates to succeed in their quest for office and to do all we can to help this outcome.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Office has received calls and complaints concerning missing or defaced election signs. While we recognize your loyalty to your candidate, I do ask some semblance of reason in these tense times.
It is commendable that you support your candidate but destroying or removing signs is not the answer. I would recommend your energies be of better use were you to call your candidate’s campaign office and volunteer. You can help with mailers, host a Meet and Greet, introduce your candidate to your family, friends and fellow community members and by doing so, accomplish much more than you would achieve by these potentially criminal acts.
Your best support comes on Nov. 6, Election Day when you have the opportunity to vote for your candidates. Please exercise your right, make your voice heard and encourage your friends and neighbors to vote as well.
Please respect these public minded candidates. They have put themselves on a very hectic, expensive and arduous path to reaching their goal. Let us acknowledge their vision, respect their campaign and congratulate the winner after the election.
Richard Cutting, Essex County Sheriff