Pradeep Hatcher

Halloween doesn’t have to be too scary

Pradeep Hatcher, Public Information Assistant, No Phone Number Available

Monday, October 27, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.

Whether you're a parent, a pet owner, or a homeowner, Halloween shouldn't give you a case of the frights unless it's the “good” kind. As another Halloween rolls around, always keep safety in mind.

Spokane Police want parents and kids to remember these tips before trick-or-treating:

  • Adult Supervision: Children should never go into a stranger's house or ring the doorbell without a parent's permission. Never get into the car with someone you don't know. Only trick-or-treat friendly homes.
  • Map out Your Route: Be careful crossing streets and look both directions to make sure no cars are coming. Always use crosswalks and sidewalks. Where no sidewalk is present, stick close to the curb and walk facing the direction of traffic.
  • Remain Visible: Make sure to always carry a flashlight, glow stick or reflective tape to be more visible to cars.
  • Safety in Numbers: Stay in a group while trick-or-treating, or go with an adult.
  • Don't Cover Faces: Paint kids' faces instead of wearing masks so they can see when they are walking.
  • Quality Check Treats: Instruct children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by an adult.

Halloween can also be a scary time for your pet. If you're thinking of dressing up your pooch or kitty, keep in mind some animals do better than others when it comes to wearing costumes.

“Some pets love the attention, and wearing a costume and posing for pictures is in their nature,” said SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill. “Other animals can be stressed, frightened, or feel constrained.”

If you do decide to dress up your pet, here are some helpful safety tips from SCRAPS:

  • Your pet's Halloween costume should not restrict the animal's movement, hearing, breathing, or ability to bark or meow. Be sure to try on costumes in advance to see how your pet reacts to them.
  • Examine your pet's costume and make sure it doesn't have any small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces that the animal could choke on.
  • Make sure your dog or cat is licensed and microchipped. If your pet gets lost during Halloween festivities, a microchip can be a lifesaver.

Costumes aren't the only Halloween dangers for your pet. Visit SCRAPS website for more helpful safety tips.

With Halloween lights and decorations up as well, be sure to check all your electrical cords for wear and tear. Faulty, cracked or deteriorating electrical cords can cause sparks and quickly set off a fire. And try using glow sticks in your Jack O'Lanterns as a safer alternative to candles. There's no flame, cord or batteries to worry about, and glow sticks are waterproof. You can find them in party supply stores.

Finally, always remember this crucial tip: Have fun!

Happy Halloween!

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