Police offer safety tips for Halloween
It's best for children to go trick-or-treating before dusk, when there's still some daylight, said Colt Davis, a Mukilteo crime prevention officer.
Children should know never to go inside a stranger's house or take candy from anyone in a car, Davis said. They should travel in groups and stay together.
"Definitely do not go to houses that aren't lit properly," he said. "Look for inviting houses with the lights on."
Children need to be visible to drivers, he said. That can mean brightly colored clothes, reflective tape on costumes and candy bags, or flashing lights like those used by cyclists.
Parents should inspect any candy, fruit and other items before they are eaten, Davis said.
Anyone heading out for the night should make sure they have their cellphone charged, Davis said. Older kids going alone should give their route plans to their parents.
Glowsticks are another good accessory, said Lisa Wellington, a crime prevention officer in Lynnwood. Costumes should not restrict hearing or vision, she said.
If adults plan to party, they need a safe ride home, said trooper Mark Francis with the Washington State Patrol.
Extra troopers will be out from the holiday through the weekend looking for drunken drivers, he said. Troopers reported 17 Halloween impaired-driving arrests in Snohomish County last year.
Francis recommends that trick-or-treaters take routes with sidewalks, carry flashlights and avoid busy thoroughfares.
"Just be aware," Francis said. "The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself in any situation is be aware of where you are."
People also should keep their pets inside, in a safe place away from visitors, Davis said.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Halloween safety tips
If older kids are going trick-or-treating alone, give them a predetermined route with good lighting.
Consider attending an indoor community event.
Avoid replica toy guns as costume accessories.
Avoid strangers' houses, and houses without the lights on.
Have an adult check all treats before eating them.
Cross streets carefully. Stay in well-lit areas with sidewalks.
Avoid using candles as decorations.
Source: Lynnwood and Bothell police
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