Officials offer some Halloween reminders

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Public safety > Tips to reduce danger and increase the fun

By Tris DeRoma

In Los Alamos Trick or Treat on Main Street, the Pumpkin Glow, the costume parties, and trick or treating with friends and family have pretty much taken the edge off what’s supposed to be a spooky time.

However, Los Alamos’ law enforcement community is reminding residents that while they want you to have fun… don’t throw common sense and trust out the window. Here are some tips from Preston Ballew, the public information officer of the Los Alamos Police Department and Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero on how you can have a safe and happy Halloween.

Door to door or block party?

While there’s been a lot of debate about which is better, block parties or going door to door to collect goodies, Ballew said going door-to-door is still a viable option in this day and age. Just be sure you’re in safe surroundings, he said.

“What we recommend is going to the neighbors that you’re most familiar with,” he said, adding that young kids should always be accompanied by a parent or an adult.

Keep things visible

As far as costumes are concerned, Ballew said to make sure to prioritize safety over aesthetics. Make sure masks and make up doesn’t obscure vision and if it’s an especially dark costume, make sure it has plenty of visible safety markers on it. “Make sure to add additional reflective taping to costumes so drivers can see them, and make sure everyone looks both ways before crossing the street.

How to inspect candy

As far as inspecting candy is concerned, Ballew said it’s pretty easy, especially in these days of safety wrappers and seals.

“If it looks like it’s been tampered with at all, just throw it away,” he said. “It’s not like its expensive or you couldn’t run down to the store and replace it if you needed to.”

Drivers beware

Ballew is also asking drivers to be extra aware on Hallows Eve.

“Even though the speed limit may say 25, reduce your speed. You know you’re going to have trick or treaters out there, you know you’re going to be having kids in dark costumes darting across the road,” he said. “Be careful, once an accident happens, you can’t go back.

Be aware of the sexual offenders in your neighborhood

Sheriff Lucero recently issued a press release reminding people that unfortunately, sexual predators do live in Los Alamos, and that now would be a good time to check the county’s website to know if there are any in your vicinity. Just go to losalamosnm.us/gov/Pages/Sheriff.aspx and click on the left of the page where it says “New Mexico Sex Offender List.”

His recommendation is children younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult, and those over that ages should travel in groups. He also said in his release to “remind your children to stay in well-lit areas, never take shortcuts, and never go into isolated areas.”

He also recommended throwing out anything not factory-wrapped, and that you should tell your children to trust their feelings.

“Teach children to say no and get away from any person or situation making them feel scared uncomfortable or confused; even if it means yelling, kicking, attracting attention or any other means of resisting,” he said in his release.

Make it easy for them

The Red Cross had some advice for those giving out the candy. That advice was mostly about keeping the trick or treaters safe when they come knocking on your door.

The Red Cross advised restraining pets, and clearing the porch and yard of anything a child might trip over getting to your door. That would include leaves and other natural objects too. For more information, go to redcross.org.