It is almost Halloween and pressure mounts. What will my son wear? (Last year he was a policeman; this year he announced that he is not doing a costume and is going as ‘just a kid’). Do I have a bucket big enough for all the candy? Should I dress up like the rest of the adults in the neighborhood or can I just strap on an accessory like a large bow tie and be done with it?
As a hardened New Yorker, I thought I’d seen and done it all. After all, what can beat riding the subway at rush hour dressed as a Medusa? But I was not prepared for Halloween in Hancock Park, for the Time Square-like crowds of costumed revelers of all ages and the massive flow of candy.
House watching during Halloween becomes an art form and there are many among us who keep track of blocks with the most inspired graveyards, most ingenious assortments of hanging ghosts, and overall most creatively ghoulish lawns. (My favorites are the houses on Norton and Van Ness between Third Street and Beverly Boulevard).
These same crowds can also be daunting, especially for little kids. This year’s trick-or-treating could potentially be even bigger and run later, given it falls on a Friday night.
I wanted to share some Halloween safety tips so I reached out to Officer Joseph Pelayo, Senior Lead Officer with LAPD’s Olympic Division. He seemed like the perfect resource, since I met Officer Pelayo last year on Halloween as he was handing out over sized lollipops to kids on the corner of Norton Avenue and Second Street.
Here are a few safely tips from Officer Pelayo. Happy Halloween!
- Children should trick-or-treat during daylight hours.
- Children should never be allowed to go out alone on Halloween.
- Children should never eat any treats until they have been examined.
- All fruit should be cut and closely examined before eating.
- Advise children that they should never enter strangers’ homes.
- Never invite children into your home.
- Children should never accept rides from strangers.
- Children should never take shortcuts through backyards or alleys.
- Set a specific time limit for your children to be out on Halloween night.
- Give wrapped homemade treats only to children you know.
- Instruct children not to stray from their group.
- A responsible adult should escort children while trick-or-treating.
- Adult escorts should carry flashlights.
- Don’t leave your home unattended on Halloween night.
- Keep pets inside your home, or other safe place on Halloween night.
- Children should walk, not run, during their trick-or-treat activities.
- Parents should know what route their children will be taking.
- All costumes should be made of light-colored, fireproof material.
- Children should wear proper fitting, comfortable costumes and shoes.
- Props such as toy guns or swords should be made of pliable material.
- Realistic replica firearms should never be used.
- Masks should not be worn if they impair vision.
- Wigs should be fireproof and should not restrict vision.
- Children should always use sidewalks, not the street, for walking.
- Children should look in all directions before crossing the street.
Anya Grottel-Brown is a recent transplant to LA from the East Coast. Her series, The Newcomer Journals, is about all things local that are new, different and the same.