Keeping Safe at Halloween

A downtown Halloween Parade in 2013.

Kids may have to bundle up for the scariest night of the year tonight because of cold weather, and Fort Scott Police Chief Jason Pickert gives parents some other tips to keep them safe.

“Fortunately, there are lots of easy things parents and kids can do to stay safe on the spookiest of holidays,” Pickert said.

Here is his list:

  • Carry glow sticks or flashlights, use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and bags, and wear light colors to help kids see and be seen by drivers.

  • Don’t let little ones walk by themselves. Make sure they are joined by an older sibling or an adult for trick-or-treating.

  • Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks.

  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Choose face paint over masks when possible. Masks can limit children’s vision.

  • Drivers – Slow down and be alert! Kids are excited on Halloween and may dart into the street. Turn on headlights early in the day to spot kids from further away.



Safety Advocates Offer Tips to Protect Your Children this Halloween

 Safe Kids Kansas, the Kansas Poison Center, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal remind families to make safety part of their fall festivity planning.

“On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to a press release from Safe Kids Kansas. “Drivers need to slow down and be extra alert, especially in neighborhoods, as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks – and those kids may be focused on gathering candy and the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets.”

“Review safety rules with your kids before they leave the house,” according to the release. “Trick-or-treaters are often out when it’s dark and more difficult for drivers to see them. Children younger than age 12 should not be crossing streets alone on Halloween without an adult or responsible teenager.”

It’s a good idea for children to have a cell phone with them in case of an emergency, but remind them to pay attention to their surroundings, and not be distracted by texting or talking on the phone, said Cherie Sage with Safe Kids Kansas.

“Parents and kids should also be careful with candy,” according to the release. “It’s best to check sweets before children are allowed to eat them. Only eat treats in original and unopened wrappers. Also, be aware kids are in candy-seeking mode, so keep medicine locked up and away, and keep the Poison Help Line programmed into your phone: 800-222-1222.”

“According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of home structure fires happened because decorations were too close to a heat source,” according to the press release. “Most of these incidents were started by candles. Play it safe and use battery-powered candles or lights. Remember to make sure your family has working smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside every sleeping room.”

Safety tips from these organizations:

Decorate Safely

  • Keep flammable materials such as hay bales, corn stalks and paper decorations away from heat and flame sources, like candles, light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use battery-operated candles in jack-o-lanterns and when decorating pathways and yards.
  • Set a reminder to blow out any candles and unplug lights at the end of the evening.
  • Talk to your teens who may be attending parties and haunted houses to look for the exits and have a way out in case of an emergency.
  • If using dry-ice, make sure you use gloves or tongs when handling it and do not put it in cups where it could be swallowed and cause severe burns.

Walk Safely

  • Stick to sidewalks or paths. Don’t walk through neighbors’ yards, as there may be a hazard you can’t see.
  • If there are no sidewalks along your street, walk on the road facing traffic as far to left as possible.
  • Always stop and look before you cross the street, and cross at corners using signals and crosswalks whenever possible. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.

For more tips on how to keep kids safe on Halloween and throughout the year, visit

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