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Safety is a Parent's Responsibility on Halloween

Safety tips from the Sixth Precinct and Trick or Treat Street can help ensure a safe, fun holiday.

Halloween is a special day on our cul-de-sac in East Setauket.

All of the neighborhood kids get dressed up, and the kids and the parents all go out trick-or-treating together. After the kids have filled up their candy buckets, we all gather in our neighbor's garage, which has been turned into a spooky Halloween party zone and the kids and parents enjoy Halloween festivities together. It's a day that brings our neighborhood together and creates lasting memories for years to come.

When it comes to safety, Halloween's greatest hazards aren't vampires and villains, but falls, costume mishaps, and automobile collisions. Following safety tips and using common sense can help you make the most of your Halloween season and make it as enjoyable for your kids as it is for you.

Sixth Precinct police officer and community liaison Kelly Monfiletto shared with Patch the department's Halloween safety tips:

  • Try to plan to trick-or-treat while it is still light outside.
  • Trick-or-treat with a group if possible, and make sure someone has a cell phone.
  • If you go out at night, be bright, use reflective tape, and/or carry a flashlight.
  • Make sure costumes are easy to walk in and do not obstruct vision.
  • Look both ways before and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
  • Cross streets at corners and intersections.
  • If there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic. 
  • Tell your family on which streets or neighborhoods you will be walking.
  • Have parents check candy before consuming.

If you are the parent of a preschooler, trick-or-treating door-to-door can be too much for your little ones. When my oldest was a toddler, we were lucky just to get to two or three houses before he was exhausted. As an alternative to trick-or-treating the old-fashioned way, you might want to consider attending Ward Melville High School's Trick or Treat Street on Friday. Trick or Treat Street provides a safe alternate for young children who wish to participate in Halloween activities, according to Dr. Alan L. Baum, principal of Ward Melville High School.

"It becomes especially beneficial to parents and students when the weather isn't as cooperative as one would like," Baum said. "Parents can feel secure that their child can participate in activities free of the distraction of cars, rain, or other influences children are faced with."

Trick or Treat Street is organized by Ward Melville students, and guests are asked to donate a nonperishable food item at the event.

"Our own students really enjoy organizing this event and watching the faces on the children as they get a treat, get their face painted or get a tattoo, color a picture, or play a game," Baum said. "In short, it is a fun event for parents and children – one that rewards the participant as well as our students." 

Trick or Treat Street will be held at the high school from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and overflow parking will be available at the Kohl's Shopping Center located on Route 347. Shuttle buses to the school will run every 20 minutes until 6:30 p.m.

However you plan to spend the Halloween weekend in Three Village, with these basic Halloween safety tips, you'll be well on your way to another fun and festive holiday. All it takes is some preparation and common sense.

Share your Halloween pictures with Patch by e-mailing editor Christine Sampson at christines@patch.com!

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