The Dunkirk Police Department has issued a list of safety reminders for Wednesday's Halloween celebration.
"Halloween can be a very fun holiday for everyone, especially kids," Police Chief David Ortolano explained. "To make the holiday a treat instead of a trick, please follow these safety tips."
Check that the costumes are flame retardant. Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls and other bumps in the night. Try using make-up instead of masks, a mask can be uncomfortable and obstruct a child's view when crossing streets and using steps.
Wear light colored costumes and use reflective material or tape, this will make children more visible after dark. Avoid costumes that have weapons, if they are part of the costume make sure they are made from cardboard or other flexible material.
Trick or treating
Never let children go out alone. Young children should be with parents, older kids with friends. Trick or treat in groups. Map a route ahead of time and make sure parents know the route. Stop only at familiar houses with lights on. Try and trick or treat while it's still light out. Stay in well lighted areas and carry a flashlight.
Teach children to never, never go into a stranger's house or accept a ride from a stranger. If someone makes them feel uncomfortable or tries to grab them, children should scream, yell, fight and kick to get away. They should then find a parent or adult they trust and tell them what happened as soon as possible.
Walk on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks.
Teach children to not eat any treats until they get home. To avoid temptation give children a snack before they go out.
Check all treats at home and eat only unopened candy and treats in original wrappers. Carefully inspect fruit and homemade treats and ask who gave them.
"The city's Common Council has set trick or treating hours from 4 to 8 p.m. on Halloween. We urge everyone to please observe these guidelines," Ortolano stated. "Halloween can be a lot of fun for kids and parents alike. Take a few extra minutes and remember the tricks and treats of playing it safe. A lot of the safety rules that apply to Halloween are good rules to follow all the time.
"Our Neighborhood Watch groups will be out keeping an eye on their neighborhoods for criminal activity and reporting to the police department. Anyone who witnesses or suspects any criminal activity can dial 911 for emergencies."