Officials stress Halloween safety
Steven Kao of Glenview takes a look through the many different Halloween costume selections at Card and Party Giant in Glenview October 19, 2012. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 26, 2012 9:00AM
WINNETKA — As many kids and adults finalize their costumes and Halloween plans, area police are reminding trick-or-treaters to keep safe Wednesday night.
With thousands of children expected to be moving around North Shore neighborhoods, the possibility of an accident increases. Police ask that children follow the trick or treating hours of their towns and practice safe behavior.
In Winnetka and Northfield, trick-or-treating hours run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.
“Typically the residents will leave their exterior lights on if they want trick-or-treaters,” Winnetka Deputy Police Chief Joe Pellus said. “Kids should be in groups and certainly supervised by an adult.”
The increased foot traffic on residential and busy streets that night has police warning pedestrians and motorists. Many drivers will return home during rush hour, which is within the trick-or-treating hours for most communities.
“It’s a very bad day in terms of street safety for kids,” said Dr. Kenneth Fox, a pediatrician with NorthShore University HealthSystem. “More than twice as many kids are killed (on Halloween night) while walking and being struck by a car than on any other day of the year.”
Fox advises parents and children who are out walking to wear visible clothing and take precautions while moving through their various neighborhoods.
“Despite the excitement, we want kids to be careful,” Fox said. “Cross at the crosswalks at the end of the block, stay on the sidewalks, look both ways and walk, don’t run.”
Fox also cautions against the use of certain masks and large wigs, which can make it difficult to see in the late evening hours.
Parents or guardians are asked to inspect all candy prior to consumption and limit the amount children eat in one sitting. Area police ask that children never enter a stranger’s home and be careful around pets that may be out that night.
“If they’ve got open candy, they really should be discarding that,” Pellus said. “Don’t take any chances with open candy. Before eating any, it should be looked through to see that everything is appropriate.”
Candy should be sorted to be age appropriate to limit choking hazards and children are reminded to brush their teeth afterward. Most of all kids are asked to enjoy the evening.
“We want kids to be safe, but we want them to have fun too,” Fox said.