While some people may find alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating amid the current pandemic, there will likely still be plenty of costumed youngsters roaming through neighborhoods on Halloween. The Roswell Police Department offers some tips to parents and other adults to try to make sure trick-or-treating doesn’t become “scary” when it comes to safety.
• If it’s going to be dark at any time while trick-or-treating, equip yourself and your kids with flashlights. Also, avoid approaching any houses that don’t have lights on by the door to welcome trick-or-treaters.
• Younger children should be accompanied by an adult or responsible older teenager.
• Remind your children that, if possible, try to move around the neighborhood on sidewalks rather than walking in the street. Everyone needs to be mindful of vehicle traffic, remembering to look in all possible directions of travel for vehicles before crossing or entering a street. No pedestrian should enter a street by walking between two parked vehicles along the curb. Drivers may not be able to see that person soon enough to safely stop, depending on how tall the parked vehicles and the person are.
• Drivers should be extra careful that night, remembering there will be a much greater number of young pedestrians out and about. Take it slow, especially in residential neighborhoods where trick-or-treaters are more likely to be found. Be alert for youngsters who may be distracted and not paying adequate attention to safety.
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• It is best if trick-or-treaters stay away from houses they are unfamiliar with and anywhere they don’t know the residents. Try to stick to houses where trusted friends and neighbors live. Don’t go inside houses unless they are those of family or friends.
• Dress children in costumes that have bright colors and perhaps reflective pieces. Make sure masks have eyeholes that are big enough to properly see out of. Costumes should fit properly, without pieces dragging around children’s feet creating the hazard of a potential trip and fall. Avoid costumes that include any pieces or accessories that are too sharp or otherwise could be an injury risk.
• Parents should inspect all treats the children collect before any of it is eaten. If children are out on their own, instruct them not to eat any of it before they return home and an adult checks things out. Any candy or other items that are unwrapped or not in their original wrappers or appear to be homemade or tampered with should be discarded unless the parent has firsthand knowledge of the source and absolutely trusts that source.
• Unfortunately, there are sex offenders in most communities, and Roswell is no different. Citizens can find out where convicted offenders are living near them by visiting the OffenderWatch website at www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54896. That information can be used to take appropriate steps when planning the trick-or-treating route.
When it comes to COVID-related safety for trick-or-treaters and those handing out the candy at their doors, keep these tips in mind:
• Trick-or-treat in shifts
• Wear a mask
• Stay behind a see-through door (handing out candy)
• Buy factory-wrapped candy and keep it in their individual bags
• Put hand sanitizer out for trick-or-treaters
Amid the fun of costumed kids collecting candy and comparing outfits with friends, children may not be thinking about staying safe and secure while wandering about. Parents and other adults should take the time to make sure children are well-instructed and well-prepared for an enjoyable and safe time while trick-or-treating.
Meanwhile, the State of New Mexico is informing citizens of a number of alternative Halloween activities for children and families.
Those ideas are found at governor.state.nm.us/2020/10/06/state-launches-covid-safe-family-friendly-halloween-events/.