This year, trick-or-treating in York County ends at 8 p.m. on Halloween – Tuesday, October 31. Children age 12 or younger may trick-or-treat and should be accompanied by an adult. Residents are asked to turn on porch lights to identify homes that wish to receive trick-or-treaters. To ensure a safe Halloween experience, the York County Fire Chief, Stephen P. Kopczynski, and the York-Poquoson Sheriff, J.D. “Danny” Diggs, recommend the following safety tips:
- Use makeup instead of masks. Plastic or rubber masks can impair a child’s vision. If masks are worn, advise children to lift their masks while traveling from house to house and when crossing the street. Remind children to be careful, watch for traffic, and to use flashlights.
- Make sure costumes and shoes fit properly to avoid tripping hazards.
- Purchase Halloween costumes (including wigs, capes and props) that feature a “flame-resistant” or “flame-retardant” label.
- Consider wearing bright and/or light-colored costumes, which are easier to see at night.
- Carry a flashlight or light-stick, and attach “glow-in-the-dark” items or reflective tape to the front and back of children’s costumes. Make sure your trick-or-treater can see and be seen.
- Have an adult accompany younger children. Older children not accompanied by an adult should travel in groups of at least three. Plan an itinerary and set a time for children to return home.
- Avoid houses where porch lights are off.
- Do not allow children to accept unwrapped candy or fruit, and check all treats before allowing children to eat them. Any suspicious candy should be reported to the Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible.
- Keep children away from candles and other flame sources, especially when in costume. Advise children to stay away from jack-o-lanterns with candles and all open flames and heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothes catch fire.
- Keep your jack-o-lanterns away from landings or doorways where costumes could brush against the candle flame. For added safety, consider using a glow stick or battery powered light instead of candles.
- Avoid flammable items such as dried flowers, cornstalks, hay, and crepe paper. Keep these and all decorations away from all open flames and heat sources.
- Keep all exits (doors/windows) clear of decorations so that nothing blocks escape routes.
- If your child is attending a party or sleepover at someone else’s home, instruct them to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
For more on Halloween Safety, call Fire & Life Safety at (757) 890-3600 or the Sheriff’s Office at (757) 890-3630.