New York City Police Department

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Press Release | NO. 2002-125

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Press Release # 125
Tuesday, October 29, 2002

New York City Police Department Announces Safety Tips For Parents And Children During Halloween

The New York City Police Department today announced the following safety tips that all parents and children should observe during the Halloween holiday.

Costume safety for children:

  • Wear costumes that are bright and reflective, and that are flame-retardant. If a costume is not brightly colored, put reflective tape on the front and back of it.
  • Wear costumes that are not too baggy, and not too long, so that they won't cause you to trip. Don't wear floppy shoes.
  • Only wear masks that you can see through easily. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic face paints are preferable to masks.
  • Don't carry costume knives, guns or swords. If you do use them, make sure they look fake, and are not hard or sharp.
  • Bring a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Have your name and address attached to your costume, or on a bracelet.
  • Bring coins in case you need to make a phone call.

Pedestrian safety while trick-or-treating:

  • Walk only on sidewalks -- never in the street.
  • Cross at street corners or crosswalks only -- never between parked cars.
  • Cross the street in groups, and only when the traffic light is green.

General safety for children while trick-or-treating:

  • Make sure you know your parents' or guardians' telephone number, and know how to call 911 in an emergency.
  • Stay within neighborhoods that are familiar to you. Parents should set up a route that children can follow.
  • Trick-or-treat in groups -- never by yourself. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.
  • Never go into buildings, homes, or elevators when you are alone. Never go up to a house that isn't lit.
  • Do not talk to strangers, and never get into a stranger's car.
  • Never go into a stranger's house to get a treat.
  • Bring home all your candy before you eat it, so that an adult can inspect it first.

Safety information for adults:

  • Consider hosting a Halloween party in your home, instead of trick-or-treating.
  • Go with your children when they trick-or-treat.
  • Stress to your children they should not eat any candy until you have inspected it.
  • When you inspect candy, throw out all unwrapped or loosely wrapped items. Check wrappers for tampering. Wash, cut and inspect any fruit. Inspect all homemade treats for anything suspicious. When in doubt, throw it away.
  • If you find anything suspicious, call the police.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns or chemical light sticks for decorations instead of candles.

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