Halloween fun will begin a few days early when the Roswell Police Department hosts its second annual “Trunk-or-Treat” event Thursday, Oct. 27, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This year’s event will be held at the new city parking lot in the 900 block of North Richardson Avenue (across from the Convention and Civic Center).
There will be police cars and other emergency vehicles set up from which to hand out candy and other treats for children. Hot dogs will be served. The Roswell Fire Department, Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, and possibly other agencies, will also be participating.
Those attending the event can dress up in their costumes if they like. Kids will not only be able to collect some Halloween treats a few days early, but will also have the opportunity to visit with law enforcement officers and firefighters, as well as get an up-close look at police and fire vehicles and equipment.
When it comes to heading out on Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31, RPD offers some tips to parents and other adults to try to make sure trick-or-treating doesn’t become “scary” when it comes to safety.
> Trick-or-treaters should try to make their rounds in a group if possible. All younger children, whether in a group or individually, should be accompanied by an adult or responsible older teenager.
> If it’s going to be dark at any time while trick-or-treating, equip yourself and your kids with flashlights. Also, avoid approaching any houses that don’t have lights on by the door to welcome trick-or-treaters.
> Remind your children that, if possible, try to move around the neighborhood on sidewalks rather than walking in the street. Everyone needs to be mindful of vehicle traffic, remembering to look at all possible directions of travel for vehicles before crossing or entering a street. No pedestrian should enter a street by walking between two parked vehicles along the curb. Drivers may not be able to see that person soon enough to safely stop, depending on how tall the parked vehicles and the person are.
> Drivers should be extra careful that night, remembering there will be a much greater number of young pedestrians out and about. Take it slow, especially in residential neighborhoods where trick-or-treaters are more likely to be found. Be alert for youngsters who may be distracted and not paying adequate attention to safety.
> It is best if trick-or-treaters stay away from houses they are unfamiliar with and anywhere they don’t know the residents. Try to stick to houses where trusted friends and neighbors live. Don’t go inside houses unless they are those of family or friends.
> Dress children in costumes that have bright colors and perhaps reflective pieces. Make sure masks have eyeholes that are big enough to properly see out of. Costumes should fit properly, without pieces dragging around children’s feet creating the hazard of a potential trip and fall. Avoid costumes that include any pieces or accessories that are too sharp or otherwise could be an injury risk.
> Parents should inspect all treats the children collect before any of it is eaten. If children are out on their own, instruct them not to eat any of it before they return home and an adult checks it out. Any candy or other items that are unwrapped or not in their original wrapper or appear to be homemade should be discarded unless the parent has firsthand knowledge of the source and absolutely trusts that person.
> Unfortunately, there are sex offenders in most communities, and Roswell is no different. Citizens can find out where convicted offenders are living near them by visiting the OffenderWatch website (link below). That information can be used to take appropriate steps when planning the trick-or-treating route.
Amid the fun of costumed kids collecting candy and comparing outfits with friends, children may not be thinking about staying safe and secure while wandering about. Parents and other family adults should take the time to make sure children are well-instructed and well-prepared for an enjoyable and safe time while trick-or-treating.