Halloween safety tips

October 30, 2005

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office and the National Confectioners Association is offering Halloween trick-or-treaters and their parents safety tips for going out tomorrow night.

Families are encouraged to do the following:

Wear light-colored clothing that is short enough to prevent tripping. If the costume does not have reflective material, add reflective tape to the back, front and sides.

Make sure children can see well through face masks or use cosmetics to create funny or scary faces.

Adults should accompany young children.

Carry a flashlight.

Stay within your neighborhood and only visit familiar homes.

Watch out for traffic.

Only give or accept wrapped or packaged candy. Some candy may have possible harmless effects from manufacturing and shipping, but treats or their packages that appear tampered with or are suspicious should be thrown away.

For information and photographs of these harmless effects, visit CandyUSA.org.

Examine all candy before allowing children to eat it.

Keep costumed children away from pets. Even family pets may not recognize the child and become frightened.

Avoid hard plastic or wood props such as daggers or swords. Substitute with foam rubber that is soft and flexible.

For parents with questions regarding candy, the confectionery industry has established the Halloween Candy Hotline to assist law enforcement officials and poison control operators nationwide in the event of suspected candy tampering.

While the hot line is not available to the general public, the Carroll County 911 Center can assist with questions and put parents in touch with experts for the item in question. Residents should call the 911 Center's nonemergency number, 410-848-4343, if they have a concern regarding Halloween candy.

Any intentional tampering or injection of harmful substances into candies should be reported immediately to local police.


Most of Carroll's eight incorporated municipalities allow trick-or-treating in town or city limits only during certain hours tomorrow for Halloween.

Residents wishing to hand out treats should turn on their front light. Children should visit only homes with the light on.

Town rules are:

Hampstead: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Manchester: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Union Bridge: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

New Windsor: No formal hours.

Westminster: Dusk to 8 p.m. Trick-or-treating is limited to children 12 and younger.

Sykesville: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Police also will do extra patrols during this time.

Mount Airy: No set hours.

Taneytown: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

County officials said the county has no rules for trick-or-treating outside town limits, but some neighborhoods or communities may have their own rules. Residents should check with their neighborhood association or group.

Information: Sheriff's Office, 410-386-2900.

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