This Halloween season, children in the Santa Clarita Valley will focus their attention towards costumes and candy, and according to Sheriff’s Department officials, parents should, as well.
On Halloween, it’s important to practice basic, common-sense safety, said Deputy Kevin Duxbury of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “I think the most important thing for parents to do is to keep an eye on the candy while their children go door-to-door.”
Kids shouldn’t eat any candy until they’re home where parents can inspect each piece, “and anything that isn’t vacuum sealed should be thrown away,” Duxbury said. “That includes fruits and baked goods,” because these are the most common methods used to harm children during Halloween.
“If you have younger children, you should go with them door-to-door,” the deputy said. “If you have older kids, then I advise parents give them a specific route and length of time to be gone. That way, if they are gone for an extended amount of time, then (parents) know where to look for them.”
Various school sites in the local districts will hold “fall festivals,” which are hosted by the Parent Teacher Associations and act as fundraisers or safe spaces, said Ken Chase, board president of the Sulphur Springs Union School District. Check district websites or contact local PTAs to learn more.
“At the station, we have our Halloween Carnival,” Duxbury said, “and most of the local churches do Trunk or Treat, where people decorate their cars and kids go trunk-to-trunk as opposed to house-to-house to get candy.”
Many kids are so enthusiastic about Halloween that they know which costumes they hope to wear long before the big day, but parents should begin discussing costumes well in advance, according to the sheriff’s department. Doing so gives parents a chance to encourage kids to choose bright costumes that are light or reflective and make them more visible to drivers on the road.
Parents can also encourage youngsters to decorate their bags and buckets with reflective tape that will make them more visible to drivers, Duxbury said. At the very least, make your child hold a flashlight or glow stick.
Another useful safety trick for the spooky season is to avoid trick-or-treating alone and walk in groups, according to the department.
It’s also been noted by local parents that a teal pumpkin outside of a house signals that candy or treats are available for children who have food allergies, so be on the lookout for those as well.
“Have fun, be safe,” SCV Sheriff’s Station officials wrote in a recent release. “Always remain aware of your surroundings, (and) if you see something, say something.”