It is always good to have a quick refresher course on safety for kids and parents before Halloween. Please take a look at this list and let's try and make sure all of our kids have a fantastic and safe night!
Click here for our article on neighborhood safety.
Patch Tips for a Safe Halloween
1. Sit down with your kids before it is time to go out and review your expectations. Understanding the boundaries along with rules you have set up is important, so be as clear as possible. Make sure they understand you are worried about their safety above everything else. The rules should be re-iterated again before they go out.
2. Make sure everyone going out has sufficient light to be seen. Glow bands, glow sticks, and similar glow items are readily available at Target, Walmart, and other stories fairly inexpensively. They can and should be worn around the neck, wrist, and ankles (and are pretty fun). But sometimes they only last an hour or so. Make sure kids have extra or have a parent chaperone bring along extras. Reflective tape is recommended on costumes that are excessively dark and hard to see. Make sure each group takes at least two flashlights with fresh batteries.
3. Make sure people stay together. If you are chaperoning a group then understand that part of your responsibility is to keep the herd together. If you kids are going out in a group make sure everyone understands to stick together and not leave people behind.
4. Create a trick-or-treat plan. Older kids going out without a chaperone should have a pre-determined route they will be traveling so that parents know where they should be. The area to be travelled should be well-lit and safe. There should also be a specific time kids should get home.
5. Remind everyone to stay on sidewalks and cross at intersections, making sure to look both ways and be patient. Running across the street because you see a friend can be dangerous, even in the many cul-de-sac neighborhoods in town. For those who live in some of the areas without sufficient sidewalk, use the far edge or the road facing traffic.
6. Children should be reminded to use pathways and driveways and not run across yards. Also it is never okay to play with or cause damage to a person's decorations including pumpkins. Only go up to houses with porch lights on or obvious decorations celebrating Halloween.
7. Older kids traveling without a chaperone should have a charged cell phone with them. If there is danger they should call 911 first and then call a parent. They should also never enter a home or car and should never go to the rear of a house to get candy. Older kids should be encouraged to trust their instincts and if a situation does not feel right, to get out of it.
8. Driving and stopping repeatedly to let kids in and out of a car is not necessarily the safest approach on a night with a lot of foot traffic. Park outside of a neighborhood and walk with your kids.
9. Consider posting signs at the entrance to your subdivision if you live an in area that receives excess car traffic requesting that people park and walk as a courtesy to everyone who is out that night.
10. Let kids know to wait on eating candy and treats until a parent has had a chance to inspect it for tampering.
Candy Buy Back!
For those parents who are worried about what to do with all of that candy, Dr. Nicole Smith will be doing a Halloween Candy Buy Back! For every pound of candy turned in you will get $1 and $1 will go towards the education foundation of Cotati-Rohnert Park Grant Fund for Teachers.
The donated candy goes to our troops overseas and local public safety officers. This is for Halloween candy only and the trick-or-treaters must accompany the candy.
The candy buy back will take place on Thursday, November 1 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Her office is located at 1331 Medical Center Drive in Rohnert Park. For any questions you can call 584-7755.