Date: October 26, 2000 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Sterling Ivey, 863 534-6377 or 819-0221 pager
Halloween Safety Tips

Trick-or-treating, celebrations and decorations are all a part of the fun of Halloween. The Polk County Sheriff's Office would like to offer the following safety tips for those who will be trick-or-treating: 

* As a parent, supervise young children who trick-or- treat. Participate in the festivities yourself, or direct an older responsible sibling. 
* Encourage children to walk in groups. Children should walk - not run - from house to house. Trick-or-treaters should stay out of and away from busy streets. 
* Children should go only to known homes, and never enter into residences. 
* Place reflective safety tape on children's costumes and treat bags. Carry working flashlights. 
* Inspect children's candy before any is eaten. Throw away any unwrapped treats. 
* Care should be used with a child's costume. Make sure masks do not obscure a child's vision. Consider using cosmetics for a natural mask. To avoid tripping, make sure the costume is not too long and high heels are not worn. 
* Props for costumes - such as swords, knives, etc. - should be soft and flexible replicas, not the real thing. 
* When driving be especially careful and watch out for children trick-or-treating. 
* Consider safer alternatives to trick-or-treating, such as attending supervised Halloween events. Civic clubs, school groups, merchants and recreation centers often provide organized events. 

With correct supervision, children can safely participate in the Halloween holiday traditions. Parents are encouraged to take responsibility and use care. A little extra time can make a difference in ensuring a safe and enjoyable holiday for all.

XXX

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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