How to keep trick-or-treating safe this Halloween

Charlie Litchfield/The Associated Press<br>
Parents should always accompany young children to the door as they trick-or-treat, advises Lt. Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

Charlie Litchfield/The Associated Press<br> Parents should always accompany young children to the door as they trick-or-treat, advises Lt. Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

People think of Halloween as a time for fun and treats, but many children are injured while trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

Many injuries can be prevented if parents closely supervise children, make sure they carry flashlights or glow sticks so they can be easily seen at night, walk with them on the sidewalk whenever possible, and make sure they look both ways before crossing the street, said Traces Gordon, crime prevention specialist for the Prescott Police Department.

Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets and avoid homes that are poorly lit inside or outside, said Sgt. Brandon Bonney, spokesman for the Prescott Valley Police Department.

Parents should always accompany young children to the door as they trick-or-treat, said Lt. Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department, adding that adults should carry a cellphone and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.

Before Halloween night, go online to www.ycsoaz.gov/?page_id=1614 and search for local sex offenders to know which homes to avoid, and remind your children to never go into anyone's home.

"Make sure that older children who are out without parents take along a cellphone and trick-or-treat in a group along a pre-determined route. And set a firm time for them to come home," Gordon said.

Drivers are urged to slow down and watch for children carefully Halloween night, because kids may be distracted, crossing mid-block or running between parked cars.

Remind children to say "No!" or "This is not my parent!" in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a standard treat, or leave with them, Bonney said. Tell them they should make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting, Bonney said.

Homeowners should keep their lights on and clear walkways of obstacles so children don't get injured. Offer only store-bought, securely wrapped treats; confine pets; and consider using glow sticks or LED lights in pumpkins to reduce the risk of fire.

If you're taking your children to trick or treat along Mt. Vernon in Prescott, remember that the street will be closed to traffic from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Traffic will be re-routed for most of the evening, and there will be a large police presence in the neighborhood, Gordon said.

Parents should feed trick-or-treaters a filling dinner to make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before parents can check it for safety and signs of tampering, Bonney said. The toll free phone number to the Poison Control Center is 1-800-222-1222.

If your children collect more candy than you'd like, they can donate it to U.S. troops overseas as part of Operation Gratitude and get paid about $1 for each pound.

• Dr. Brown at My Kids' Dentist, 3140 Clearwater Drive, Prescott, 445-5959, will collect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 and Thursday, Nov. 3.

• Dr. Jason Campbell, 139 W. Whipple St., Prescott, 776-1208, will collect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 and Wednesday, Nov. 2.

• Dr. Robert Carlisi, 919 12th Place, Prescott, 445-5877, will collect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.

• Dr. Scott and Dr. Paul Hicks, 108 Whipple St., Prescott, 445-6030, from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1.

• Dr. Richard and Dr. Brett Mangum, 1767 E. Willow Creek Road, Prescott, 778-4110, will collect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, Wednesday, Nov. 2, and Thursday, Nov. 3.

• Dr. Joseph Savoini, 1232 E. Willow Creek Road, Prescott, 778-5518, will collect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Also participating are Horizon Dental Group, 432 N. Butterfield Road in Chino Valley or 8053 E. Florentine Road in Prescott Valley, and Woodford Orthodontics and Cottonwood Children's Dentistry, both at 10 N. Alamos Drive in Cottonwood.