Cities offer safe trick-or-treating tips

Trick-or-treating to take place on Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
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City of Grand Rapids courtesy photo.

Though Jack Frost may pay a visit to the region Tuesday, with lows expected in the twenties, Jack-o’-lanterns will still be a-blazing as citywide trick-or-treating is scheduled to take place, 6 – 8 p.m., rain, snow or shine.

The City of Grand Rapids wants everyone to have a safe Halloween and to help with that, the Grand Rapids Police Department offered the following tips to ensure it’s enjoyable, albeit a bit chilly:

  • If passing out candy, turn on your front porch light at dusk
  • Only visit homes with a lit front porch light
  • Trick or treat with a parent or adult chaperone; go in groups if possible
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing; make sure masks don’t obscure vision, including peripheral vision
  • Carry a flashlight
  • Consider going house-to-house on the same side of the street and then double back on the other side. This will reduce the need to cross the street. Use crosswalks/cross only at corners.
  • Walk on sidewalks. If you must walk in the street, walk on the left side facing traffic.
  • Do not go into any stranger’s home or car even if you are offered candy
  • Do not eat any candy or other food until it has been checked by an adult

Drivers should be especially aware and observant when driving through residential neighborhoods

The City of East Grand Rapids also recommends trick-or-treating between the hours of 6 – p.m. on Halloween and offers these safety tips:

Young children should:

  • Be accompanied by an adult at all times
  • Have their name, address and phone number on their costume
  • Not try to keep up with the “big kids” and venture off

Older children should:

  • Take a pre-established route in a known neighborhood and have a curfew
  • Remain on sidewalks and not trampling across yards
  • Cross streets at the corner, NOT between parked cars
  • Trick-or-treat in groups and remain together before crossing the street
  • Only go to well-lit houses and do not enter any homes 

Other special notes:

  • Costumes should be flame-retardant, fit properly and marked with reflective tape.
  • All participants should carry flashlights and wear some sort of reflective clothing to caution drivers at dusk — even glowsticks will help.
  • Avoid oversized shoes, high heels, trailing skirts or pants your child could trip on.
  • If you light a jack-o-lantern with a candle, use “votive” candles as they are the safest.
  • Place lighted pumpkins on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave them unattended.
  • Tell children to bring all their treats home, so a parent can check them out. Look for signs of tampering such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packaging. Remember, small items like gum, peanuts, hard candy, or small toys can pose choking hazards for young children.
  • Remove any hazards, garden hoses, toys, bikes, lawn decorations, leaves, etc. that a child could trip over from your yard. Make sure your house entrance is well-lit and replace any burned-out bulbs.
  • If you are out driving on Halloween, drive slowly, watch for children and exit driveways with care.

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