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Montgomery County Public Safety Agencies Provide Halloween Safety Tips

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

With Halloween 2017 one week away, Montgomery County public safety personnel encourage community members to do their part to make Halloween festivities as safe as possible. Please take some time before October 31, to review basic safety tips to keep everyone safe including pets.

 

Trick or Treating: 

 

  • The most important safety tip is to “trick-or-treat” only in neighborhoods and at homes known to your family.

  • Only visit homes with a porch light on, accept treats at the door and don’t go inside.

  • A parent, other familiar adult, or responsible older brother or sister should always accompany younger children.

  • Carry a flashlight.

  • Walk on sidewalks where available; and cross the street at the corner or in a crosswalk.

    Walk on the left side of the road facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.

  • When crossing: look left, right and left again before crossing the street.

  • Older children should plan out a trick-or-treating route with their parents, wear a watch and return home at an agreed upon time. A cell phone can facilitate staying in contact.

  • Children should not eat collected candy until an adult has inspected it.

  • Unwrapped or partially-wrapped candy should be thrown away.

  • Suspicious activity should be reported to police. The police non-emergency number is 301-279-8000.

Costumes:

 

  • Wear flame-retardant, brightly-colored costumes, or add reflective tape to costumes.

  • Face make-up is preferable to wearing a mask, but if a mask is worn, it should not impair the child’s vision.

  • Keep costumes short to avoid tripping and falling.

Homeowners:

 

  • Make sure your yard is clear of items such as ladders, hoses, dog leashes, and flower pots that could trip young children.
  • Light your home and yard as brightly as possible.
  • Battery-powered jack-o’-lantern candles are preferable to using a candle with a real flame.
  • If you use candles, place the pumpkins well away from where trick-or-treaters will walk or stand; and make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't blow into a burning candle.

Drivers and Party Participants:

 

  • Motorists are advised to drive slower and with extra caution through neighborhoods.  Watch for children in the street and on medians and exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Adults attending a party where alcohol is served should utilize a designated driver, or take other measures to prevent drinking and driving. 
  • Parents of teens should ensure that alcohol is not available at teen Halloween parties.

 

Pet Safety:

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There are also good safety tips provided by area Humane Societies/Animal Shelters for families with pets:

  • Keep pets inside. Pets, especially cats, can be vulnerable targets for pranksters on Halloween night. Keep them safe indoors to avoid possible trouble.
  • More chocolate is sold on Halloween than at any other time of year.  Be sure to keep pets away from candy bowls to avoid accidental ingestion of chocolate, which is harmful to dogs and cats. Also beware of candy wrappers, which can be hazardous if swallowed.
  • Beware of jack-o’-lanterns lighted with candles - a wagging tail can easily knock them over and cause a fire hazard. Or a curious kitty can get its paws or nose burned by the flame. Use a safety glow stick or flashlight instead.
  • Keep your pet safe in a separate room during trick or treat time. A quick dog or cat may dart out a door that is opening and closing often. Also, the sight of strangely-dressed people at the door can be stressful for pets.
  • Only dress up your pet if it is receptive to it. Use treat training to help your pet get used to his costume, but if it doesn't seem happy, take the costume off.
  • Masks are never a good idea for pets. Masks can cut off peripheral vision, making a dog or cat nervous about its surroundings. Even the best behaved dog or cat can get nippy when he can't see what's coming from the side.
  • Make sure your pet's costume fits properly, and does not constrict breathing or movement. Just as with a collar, make sure you can fit two fingers in between the costume and your pet's neck.
  • Inspect the costume and remove any small or dangling pieces that could become a choking hazard.
  • Don't forget to ID your pet! Shelters are always busy around holidays with pets that have wandered away from home. An ID tag or microchip helps identify your pet so he can be returned home if lost. A Montgomery County Pet License tag (which is required by law) is a great source of identification and can be obtained on line at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/animalservices/asd/licensing.html.

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      Release ID: 17-439
    Media Contact: Lucille Baur 240-777-6547