Waterloo Fire Rescue, Fire Pals and the Waterloo Police Department recommend the following safety tips for children and parents for the upcoming Halloween night, which has been designated in Waterloo, Saturday, October 31, 2009 from 06:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Make sure the costume and shoes fit. Make sure your children can see and hear perfectly through the costume or mask. We recommend the use of facial make-up instead of masks when possible.
Parents or a trusted adult should accompany young children.
Stay within the neighborhood and only visit homes you know. Never enter a stranger's home.
Watch for traffic. Use sidewalks when possible and only cross at corners or crosswalks.
Make it easy for drivers to see your children. Carry a flashlight or glow sticks, or add reflective "glow in the dark" tape or patches to costumes. Wear light colored clothing that is short enough to prevent tripping.
Only give or accept wrapped or packaged candy.
Do not eat treats until they have been examined by a parent or trusted adult.
Keep costumed children away from pets. The pets may not recognize the child and become frightened and/or aggressive.
Avoid hard plastic or wood props such as swords or daggers; use foam rubber, which is soft and flexible.
Remember, it is a federal crime to tamper with any consumer product. If you become aware of any tampered product, please contact your local law enforcement agency at the Black Hawk County Consolidated Communications Center at 319-291-2515.
From an adult standpoint, Halloween is also one of the years most dangerous holidays on the road due to alcohol related crashes. Waterloo Fire Rescue and the Waterloo Police Department want to remind residents to refrain from driving if you have consumed any alcoholic beverages. If you drink, consider calling a taxi or a friend for a ride home or assign a designated driver for the evening.