Be Alert.....Be Safe

CRIME IN ROSE HILL

A van belonging to the Nichols on Rose Hill Drive was broken into in the early hours of October 23. Tools and partial rolls of copper wire were stolen. A week earlier, a Lincoln Town car was stolen on May Boulevard. RHCA suggest you make sure your vehicles are locked. The installation of an alarm system might be prudent. Keep you eye out for suspicious activity. Call 911 if you see a crime in progress or the non-emergency number of 703-691-2131 if you have any information or come across a crime that already has been committed. Do NOT confront suspicious persons. Call the police!

With Halloween upcoming, RHCA passes on these timely tips from the police:

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it is also an important time to be extra vigilant for possible safety hazards so that your children have a fun and safe Halloween. Some tips to make Halloween safe include:

Costume safety

  • Choose a costume made of flame retardant material.

  • Costumes should be short enough so that they don't cause your child to trip and fall.

  • For good visibility, add some reflective tape to the costume or bag he is using to carry candy or make/choose a costume made of bright material that is visible in the dark.

  • Masks should fit securely and allow your child to see well and not hinder visibility.

  • If using face paint, make sure it is nontoxic and hypoallergenic.

  • Knives, swords and other props should be made of a flexible material, so that they don't pose a hazard if fallen on.

Trick-or-Treating safety

  • Children should be well supervised by an adult when trick-or-treating. Older children should trick-or-treat in large groups in well known neighborhoods.

  • Carry a flashlight.

  • Stick to well lit houses in familiar neighborhoods only.

  • Follow traffic signals and rules of the road.

  • Drive slowly.

  • Avoid taking shortcuts across backyards or alleys. Stick to the sidewalks of well lit streets.

Candy safety

  • Instruct your children to bring all candy home before eating it so that you can carefully inspect it for tampering. Children shouldn't snack while they're out trick-or-treating, before parents have a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go -- don't send them out on an empty stomach.

  • Tell children not to accept -- and, especially, not to eat--anything that isn't commercially wrapped.

  • Throw out candy or treats that are homemade, unwrapped or if they appear to have been tampered with (pinholes in wrappers, torn wrappers, etc.).

  • Parents of young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.

  • Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect it for holes, including small punctures, and cut it open before allowing children to eat it.

General safety tips

  • Homeowners should prepare their home for trick-or-treaters by removing obstacles from the front yard, restraining dogs and other animals, and lighting the house well.

  • Provide treats that are individually wrapped candy or offer kids nonfood treats, such as stickers and erasers.

  • Artificial lights and candles are a safer alternative to real candles with a flame that can pose a fire hazard.

  • If going to an adult Halloween party, make sure that you don't drink and drive. Use a designated driver if alcohol is being consumed.

Fun Alternatives

  • Find a special event or start one in your own neighborhood.

  • Community Centers, Shopping Malls and Houses of Worship may have organized festivities.

  • Share the fun by arranging a visit to a Retirement Home or Senior Center.

  • Create an alliance with College Fraternities, Sororities or Service Clubs for children's face painting or a carnival.

CARVING A NICHE

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers.  Then parents can do the cutting.

  • Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.

  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

For more information about these and other personal safety tips, log onto www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police.

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