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Halloween Safety Tips

On October 31, thousands of costumed children will take to Novi streets looking for treats. The recommended trick or treat hours in Novi are between 6:00pm and 8:00pm.

With all the excitement of Halloween, Police Chief David Molloy reminds residents that the major dangers of the evening come from falls and pedestrian/car accidents and it is extremely important to follow safety rules. "The men and women of the Novi Police Department always strive to partner with our residents to provide the children of Novi with the safest possible environment to celebrate the time honored tradition of trick-or-treating" said Chief Molloy. "If the following safety rules are adhered to, it will allow officers patrolling our neighborhoods to resolve problems before they arise."

PumpkinChief Molloy points out that Halloween poses special risks to young pedestrians. Children engaged in "trick or treat" activities frequently cross streets at mid-block rather than at corners or crosswalks, putting them at risk for pedestrian injury. Also, many parents overestimate children's street-crossing skills. Children are likely to choose the shortest rather than the safest route across streets, often darting out between parked cars. In addition, young children do not evaluate potential traffic threats effectively, cannot anticipate driver behavior, and process sensory information more slowly than adults.

Halloween Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Children should:

  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
  • Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult.
  • Know their phone number in case an emergency telephone call is necessary.
  • Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.
  • Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
  • Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
  • When walking in neighborhoods Children should:

    • Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
    • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
    • Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
    • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
    • Consider using face paint instead of masks. (Masks can obstruct a child's vision.)
    • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
    • Avoid wearing long, baggy or loose costumes or oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
    • Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

    Parents and adults should:

  • Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
  • Establish a curfew (a return time) for older children.
  • Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it.
  • Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters:

  • Make sure children are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curbside, not on the traffic side.
  • And a few tips about pumpkins:

  • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
  • Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin and have parents do the cutting.
  • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lighted pumpkins unattended.
  • Parents are encouraged to share these tips with their children to ensure a safe and enjoyable evening for the entire family.