DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Halloween is less than two weeks away, and the Danville Police Department is offering tips and reminders to trick-or-treaters to maintain a safe event.
Trick-or-treating in Danville will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31. Taylor Courson, the department’s evidence, training and data specialist, said the primary concern is pedestrian and vehicle traffic and other risks to child safety.
“Parents and guardians must remain vigilant again this year to protect against anything that poses a risk to our children and community,” Courson said. “The choice of allowing your children to trick or treat and responsibility will, as it should, fall on the individual parents, guardians and families. As always, do your best to make the correct decision whether or not to participate.”
Courson added that the police department will be keeping its guard up for additional risks that jeopardize the community’s safety, such as the safety of the candy being distributed. He asked that parents and guardians inspect their child’s candy collection; unsealed or otherwise suspicious candy should be thrown away or reported to the police.
Courson also offered the following tips for costumes, treats and staying safe in neighborhoods:
- Consider the potential benefits of wearing a protective mask under the costume mask
- Avoid costumes that could cause tripping
- Make sure footwear fits properly
- Avoid masks that unreasonably reduce vision
- If wearing dark clothing, use reflective tape and/or carry a flashlight or glowstick
- Be careful of open flames or other heat sources from decorations that can cause costumes to catch fire
- Remember that many pets can get scared or may not recognize children in costumes
- Wash hands before eating collected treats
- Have parents or guardians inspect candy before eating it
- Throw away unpackaged items or candy where the wrapper has been opened
- If something is suspiciously wrong with the treats, report it to the police
- Staying safe
- Respect neighbors and the community; use walkways and respect their property; be polite
- Travel in groups of three to four if not accompanied by an adult
- Visit homes in the neighborhood or those that are familiar
- Have a predetermined meeting spot in case someone get separated from their group
- Use sidewalks when available; if not, walk on the side of the street
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Do not cross between parked cars
- Do not start before 5 p.m. or continue past 8 p.m.
- Parents and guardians should have contact information of the people their children are with
- Drivers who are either going about their normal business or who are dropping children off should use extra caution and slow down
Courson also asked that houses that want to participate in giving out candy should turn their porch lights on. This is a sign to tell trick-or-treaters they can approach; homes that do not have their lights on should be avoided. Courson also urged trick-or-treaters not to enter a stranger’s home and if people are serving candy at their door, they should not ask anyone to come inside.
“Halloween from the public safety perspective has added challenges,” he said. “Make it safe by using good discretion, be smart and be vigilant so everyone comes home safe and remains safe.”