Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
On Thursday evening, children of all ages will be venturing out for trick-or-treat fun throughout the neighborhoods of Fredericksburg and the surrounding counties.
My friend and colleague Bill Kennedy of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office recently published a handy list of safety tips for children and parents and I’ve added some of my own advice as well:
- Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
- Children should wear identification bracelets or have their name and address attached inside their costume in case they become separated from their group.
- Always use flashlights.
- Walk through the neighborhood with friends and/or family and stay together as a group.
- Trick-or-treat only at homes that have porch lights on and only in neighborhoods where you are familiar with the streets and residents.
- Never take shortcuts through back yards, alleys or parks.
- Never enter the home of a stranger or accept rides from a stranger.
- Try to wear costumes made of white or light colored materials. If your costume is dark, attach reflector tape on the costume to increase night time visibility.
- Young children should ALWAYS be accompanied by an adult or responsible older sibling.
- Look in all directions before crossing the street and obey all traffic signals. Cross the street at the corner or crosswalk.
- Carry trick-or-treat bags that have strong straps or handles. This allows you to carry the bag with one hand leaving the other hand free.
- Make sure someone in the group has a cell phone so you can call 911 in case of an emergency.
Be safe and have fun!