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Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.

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Halloween Safety

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!