Police offer trick-or-treating safety tips

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids Police Department is offering safety tips for children, parents, guardians and drivers to help keep everyone safe on Halloween.

Police said kids are encouraged to trick-or-treat before its dark and children younger than 12 should not be crossing the street alone. Those who are old enough to trick-or-treat alone are encouraged to go in groups and stick to a planned, well-lit route.

Authorities said drivers should also be extra alert as there will be more kids on streets and sidewalks.

The Police Department, in cooperation with Linn County Safe Kids, offers the following safety advice:

•Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk-- don’t run-- across the street.

•Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

•Slow down and stay alert - watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.

•Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

•Masks can obstruct a child's vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead.

•Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.

•Parents should check all candy before allowing children to eat any. If the wrapper has been torn or removed, the candy should be thrown away.

The Police Department and Linn County Safe Kids offer the following advice to drivers:

•Slow down in residential neighborhoods.

•Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

•Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

For more tips, visit www.safekids.org.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department said it will have its own trick-or-treating event on Oct. 13 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sunner Memorial Park at 8th Avenue and Valor Way SW. Officers will be handing out goodies and books to each child.