October 17, 2001
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or
During this time of extreme caution and
sensitivity to threats, the Polk County Sheriff's Office would like to
urge parents to keep an extra careful eye on children this Halloween. The
Sheriff's Office strongly recommends that parents consider safer
alternatives to trick-or-treating, such as attending supervised Halloween
events. Civic clubs, school groups, merchants and recreation centers often
provide organized Halloween/Fall parties and festivals. If parents do
decide to allow children to trick-or-treat, they should take their
children trick-or-treating only at residences where the neighbors are well
known. Parents should carefully monitor their children's activities and
adhere to the following safety tips:
* As a parent, supervise young children who trick-or-treat. Participate in
the festivities yourself by walking with your children.
* Parents and children are encouraged to walk in groups. Children should
walk - not run - from house to house. Trick-or-treaters should stay away
from busy streets.
* Parents and children should go only to well-known homes, and never enter
* 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
* 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
* 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
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.