Thousands of children will don their scariest outfits and head to neighborhoods around the parish on Friday, hoping that they might be able to put enough fright in those homeowners to be rewarded with bags full of candy.
But St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne says they need to be careful, adding that traffic should be the primary safety concern for everyone on Halloween night.
“Everyone getting on the road needs to be very aware and drive slowly in neighborhoods,” he said. “Drivers should be aware children are excited and might move erratically.”Children and parents should also wear some sort of reflective material and be sure to only trick-or-treat in areas they are familiar with.
Champagne also suggests that parents consult the sex offender registry at www.stcharlessheriff.org.
“They can view a map of where sex offenders reside,” he said. “Registered sex offenders, by law, cannot participate in Halloween and giving out candy.”
And once kids do get candy, Champagne says they need to let their parents examine the treats before eating them.
“Only factory sealed treats should be consumed,” he said. “If there is a doubt, throw it away.”
On Halloween, the potential exists for some late-night hijinks, but Champagne said the Sheriff’s Office always increases patrols during that time.
Sandy Gaudet urged residents and children to follow Champagne’s advice.
“Remember, your parents can buy you candy but they can’t buy your replacement if something happens to you,” she said.The American Academy of Pediatrics also warns parents that children should wear non-toxic makeup or decorative hats instead of masks, because masks can limit or block eyesight.Children and their escorts should also carry flashlights and cell phones and remain on well-lit streets. Also, groups of trick-or-treaters should never assume the right of way because motorists may have trouble seeing them.
Residents that plan on remaining at home and handing out candy should remove anything that can trip a child – such as garden hoses, toys and lawn decorations – from their porch or front yard. Outdoor lights should be checked to make sure they work properly and wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
Also, pets should be restrained so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater