St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office offers Halloween safety tips

It’s that time of year again: time for some tricks and some treats. With that in mind, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is working hard to ensure residents have a spook-tacular time this Halloween by stepping up patrols and offering some safety tips as well.

As it has for years, the Sheriff’s Office will step up DWI and traffic enforcement on highways and in neighborhoods the weekend prior to Halloween, leading up to and on Oct. 31, for the protection of trick-or-treating children and adult party-goers, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“Motorists are asked to slow down, be extra cautious and be especially watchful for pedestrians,’’ the Sheriff said.

Drivers should also look for possible roadblocks or barricades in neighborhoods, and are urged not to go around them.

Capt. Charles Borchers, director of community relations and the Neighborhood Watch programs for the Sheriff’s Office, adds that parents should be vigilant about where they allow their children to venture.

“Children and their parents who are trick-or-treating should be especially careful in areas where there are still vacant properties,” he said.

Here are some other Halloween safety tips offered by the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office:

  • Make sure children understand to never enter a stranger’s home, and when trick-or-treating is over no goodies should be eaten until they are taken home and sorted out to check that they are safe.
  • Plan to wear costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flames. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Also, when shopping for costumes, wigs or accessories, purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame-resistant.
  • Secure emergency identification, such as your child’s name, address, and phone number, discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet. Consider using makeup rather than masks since masks can limit or block visibility.
  • Provide each child with a flashlight or battery-powered lantern with fresh batteries.
  • Always travel in groups and make sure a parent or responsible adult accompanies young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Make sure children know their home phone number or a parent’s cell phone number and know to call 911 if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Only trick-or-treat in well-known neighborhoods at homes that have a lit porch light.
  • Secure pets at home so they don’t get excited or run away when children come to your residence looking for treats.