Gearing up for Halloween: Weather and safety tips for the Treasure Valley

Statesman staffOctober 30, 2013 

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time of year for young and old. The Boise Police Crime Prevention unit has some tips to pass along to parents and kids.

BOISE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Weather

Monday's rainfall was a record for Boise. The National Weather Service measured 0.72 inches at the Boise Airport. The previous record for Oct. 28 was 0.48 inches in 1924.

Fortunately, the drying trend that started Tuesday is expected to stick around at least through Friday, according to the weather service. Wednesday is expected to be sunny and in the mid-50s, dipping into the low 30s overnight. The Halloween forecast is similar, but the overnight low might reach the mid-30s. During candy time, before 9 p.m., it should still be in the low 50s or upper 40s. The average high for Oct. 31 in Boise is 57 and the typical low is 37.

Weather is far from the only Halloween night consideration parents should have on their minds. The Saint Alphonsus Health System and Boise Police Department provided the following safety tips for Treasure Valley trick-or-treaters and their parents.

Costumes

--Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.

--Decorate costumes with reflective tape or have your children wear glow bracelets and necklaces for greater visibility during dusk and darkness. Also, make sure costumes are light enough in color to be clearly visible for drivers.

--Consider using face paints rather than masks so that vision is not impaired.

--Costumes, including masks, beards and wigs, should be flame resistant; just look for the label inside. With candles being part of Halloween decorations, avoid costumes that are big and baggy and have billowing sleeves or skirts.

--Costume accessories (swords, knives, etc.) should be made of soft, flexible material.

Trick-or-Treating

--Make sure children are accompanied by an adult or responsible teenager when they go door-to-door. If they do not have an adult or older brother or sister to go with, use the “Buddy” system and travel with a group of children.

--Parents should know the route their children are taking, and children should never trick-or-treat alone. Set limits on when children should return home.

--Use sidewalks and try not to walk in the street except at appropriate places.

--Don't cross the street between parked cars.

--Carry flashlights.

--Place reflective tape on Halloween bags or sacks.

--Visit homes that have well-lit entryways, and do not go to homes with porch lights off. Never enter a stranger’s house or get in their car.

--Leave your porch light on so children will know it’s OK to visit your home. Keep children safe by removing bikes and other obstructions from your walkway.

--Don't run between houses, which can have unseen landscaping hazards, sprinklers and furniture that can present dangers after dark.

--Instruct children not to eat (or nibble on) anything they’ve collected until they are home and the treats have been examined. Cut and wash fruit before eating. Throw away anything unwrapped.

Saint Alphonsus also urges parents to consider limiting their child's candy consumption of candy. One potential solution: Offer to buy back half (or more) of your child's Halloween candy. There also are programs to send candy to troops overseas.

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