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Amherst Police hand out tips for tonight's trick or treaters

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12 not-so-scary ways to be safe this Halloween

The Amherst Police Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween. The Pumpkin Patrol will be out again this year patrolling the streets and helping to keep our children safe. The Pumpkin Patrol consists of the Westcumb Amateur Radio Club and the Amherst Fire Department.

The Police Department will also have extra members conducting vehicle and foot patrols on Halloween night. We would like to remind all trick-or-treaters to be safe and have fun. Here are some Halloween safety tips for trick or treating:

• ALWAYS use a flashlight so you can see others and others can see you. Make sure you always keep your flashlight on. It makes it easier for drivers and other people to see you when you’re walking or crossing the street.

• NEVER enter a stranger’s home. Stay outside of the door. If you are invited inside, never accept. Tell your kids that if they won’t give them candy unless they go inside, leave immediately.

• STAY on we well-lighted streets. If possible, stay on streets with lots of other trick-or-treaters.

• DON’T trick-or-treat in areas you don’t know well and make sure to only go to homes that are well lighted.

• MAKE sure to follow all traffic signals.

• TAKE off any masks before crossing the street. Masks can obstruct your vision and make it difficult to carefully cross the street. Parents can also ensure that their children are wearing a properly fitted costume. Children with long loose clothing can cause kids to trip and fall when climbing up and down stairs. Costumes should also be brightly coloured or at the least, have reflective tape so they are seen at night.

• NEVER allow your child to go trick or treating alone. It’s safer to go in a group of at least three or more people. Parents should know the route that their child will take while trick or treating. Safe areas such as the police station, fire department etc should be discussed so kids know where to go if they are in trouble.

• NEVER eat unwrapped candy, food or beverages. Tell your children to refrain from eating any candy until you can inspect it. Homeowners are advised to give pre-packaged items out for Halloween and refrain from providing baked goods.

• DON’T zig-zag back and forth across the street. Go up one side of the street and then back down the other side. Children also should be educated to walk on the left side of the road facing traffic when walking on a street that does not have an available sidewalk. Children should always cross at a corner and they should be advised to make sure they get eye contact with the driver and that the vehicle is stopped before proceeding across.

• VEHICLE drivers should also do their part. Kids are very excited during Halloween and will sometimes dart onto roadways. Drivers are reminded to scan the roadways and be prepared for increased pedestrian traffic.

• PETS should be kept inside and away from the front doorways as they can become unpredictable when unknown persons are coming onto the property.

• BE vigilant and report any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood. If you observe youths walking down the street with spray paint cans, report it. “Tricking” during Halloween is not acceptable, it is a crime. We are asking the public to call our office at 902-667-7227 if they spot any suspicious activity and please dial 911 if there is an emergency.

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