Darien Police issue Halloween safety tips

Arden Kearney, 1, of Darien, waits near the firehouse for the trick or treating to start at the Darien Community Association's annual Halloween parade, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, in Darien, Conn.
Arden Kearney, 1, of Darien, waits near the firehouse for the trick or treating to start at the Darien Community Association's annual Halloween parade, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, in Darien, Conn.Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media

In order to assist our community in enjoying this fun-filled holiday as safely as possible, the Darien Police Department has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. In addition to these tips, we would also like to take this opportunity to make you aware of a new Halloween trend occurring.

Although not officially yet endorsed by Autism Advocacy groups, a trend that has gained momentum over the past two years is the use of a blue Halloween candy bucket to identify an individual diagnosed with Autism. The symbol of the blue bucket or blue jack o lantern is a subtle way to alert others that a child or young adult may not be able to make eye contact, or tolerate wearing a mask, or even say “thank you” or “trick or treat.”

To enjoy a fun and safe Halloween, parents, children, motorists, and homeowners should adhere to the following safety tips:

Parents

• Always escort your children and carry a flashlight.

• Be familiar with the neighborhood where your children will be trick-or-treating.

• Set a specific time for your child/children to be out.

• Always know who is trick-or-treating with your children.

• Walk on the sidewalks and not in the middle of the street.

• Instruct your children NEVER to enter any homes.

• Stay in well-lighted areas.

• Inspect all treats before allowing children to eat them.

• Choose fireproof comfortable costumes made of light colored material so they can be easily seen in the dark.

• Consider placing reflective or glow in the dark tape on your children’s costumes.

• Have children avoid wearing eye makeup or masks, which will restrict their vision.

• Avoid having children carry replica firearms, swords, or toys which can be mistaken for the real thing.

• Give out only commercially wrapped candy.

• Teach children their home and/or parent’s cellular phone number in case they get lost.

• Consider a Halloween party at your residence instead of going out to trick-or-treat.

Trick-or-treaters

• Do not trick-or-treat by yourself.

• If props are carried, they should be made of soft rubber, Styrofoam, or other pliable material.

• Do not take short cuts, especially through alleys.

• Obey all traffic signals and look in all directions when crossing the street.

• Don’t run! Walk to your intended destination and don’t dart in and out of cars or driveways. If there are no side-walks stay as far left of the roadway as possible.

• Walk in the direction facing traffic.

• Only trick-or-treat at homes with their porch light on. Never approach a car offering candy.

• Wait until you get home before eating any treats.

HOMEOWNERS

• Turn on your porch light so children know it is all right to visit your home.

• If you are placing a Jack-O-Lantern on your porch, place a glow stick inside instead of a candle.

• Hand out only commercially wrapped candy.

• Never invite children into your home.

• Keep pets away from children.

• Maintain clear walkways that are free from obstruction.

• If using candles, keep them away from the path of children.

• Immediately notify the Darien Police Department of any suspicious activity (203-662-5300.) Dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency

MOTORISTS

• Drive slowly and cautiously.

• Look for children walking on the street, running, and darting in between parked vehicles.

• Be extra careful when entering and exiting driveways.

• Play your music at a reasonable volume so you can listen for potential children crossing your path.

• Do not use your cell phone and Never drink and drive.

Thank you for helping to keep Darien Safe and Happy Halloween from the Darien Police Department!