Oct 31, 2012 7:49 PM by KRTV
Halloween can be a scary time of year, but officials want to make sure the scary is fun for everyone. Great Falls Police Captain Bryan Lockerby said that it's all about taking the right steps to ensuring a child's safety.
"I think that having some responsible parents out there keeping an eye on their kids when they're trick or treating, making sure where they are, they're in a safe area, it's all very important," Lockerby said.
One of those ways is participating in a safe environment trick or treat event (scroll down or click here for list of events), but if parents and their kids still want to trick-or-treat going door to door, police also say to be mindful of traffic safety and being visible at night.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says Halloween is the deadliest night for pedestrians, and offered these safety tips:
- Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective tape or glow sticks to be more visible to motorists
- Use non-toxic face paint instead of masks to keep vision unobstructed
- Never cross the street mid-block or between parked cars
- Have parents accompany kids at least until the age of 12 and making sure older kids travel in groups
GFPD also cautions that parents should check the Sexual & Violent Offender Registry to find out if any of the houses on their planned route are home to any sexual offenders. Click here to learn more and search the registry.
Downtown Great Falls is hosting its annual safe trick or treat night, where little monsters and goblins can go from local business to local business collecting tasty treats. Trick-or-treating will run from 3:30 pm until 5 pm.
Holiday Village Mall will also offer a safe environment for costumed trick-or-treaters. During the witching hours of 6:00 pm. to 7:00 pm, the common area will be filled with costumed creatures, heroes, and famous characters as children from all over the area are invited to trick or treat. Participating mall merchants will greet costumed children ages ten and under accompanied by an adult.
Sparkettes Haunted House is open on Halloween starting at 7 pm. They also have Halloween Town for the little kids that is a "scare-free" zone, which is open from 6 pm to 8 pm. The haunted house is in the "beef barn" at the Montana ExpoPark. Call 406-452-4242 for more information.
"Scream At Centene" at Centene Stadium is open from 6 pm until midnight; call 406-452-5311 for more information.
Spook-A-Roo at the University of Great Falls for families with children aged 12 and under; runs from 6 pm to 8:30 pm in the Student Center. Student clubs will offer activities including carnival-style games (with prizes), a cake walk, pumpkin bowling, a photo booth, a haunted house, and more. A separate area will be set up for younger children with face-painting and a bean bag toss. Hot chocolate and warm apple cider will be served. Families are also welcome to trick-or-treat with children in Emilie Hall, the University's freshman residence hall. This event is free to the public, with donations of a non-perishable food item optional.
Kids Funtastic Fall Fest at the Four Seasons Arena, October 31 at 6 pm. Free carnival for the whole family; Games, Candy, Jumpers, Petting Zoo; Donations of non-perishable food items accepted at the door for the Great Falls Food Bank. Please no masks or scary/gory costumes. If you need more info, call 761-3903.
PET SAFETY: While Halloween can be an exciting time for children and adults, the Great Falls Animal Shelter cautions pet owners that it may be more scary than entertaining for your pets.
Jamie Bennett, the director of the Animal Shelter, explained, "Halloween noises, smells, and people in costumes can overwhelm many pets. So while you're enjoying the festivities, make sure pets have a safe haven in the house where they can feel safe, comfortable and relaxed."
Bennett offered the following tips:
• Make sure that pets are wearing tags with a current ID. Opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters creates plenty of escape opportunities.
• Keep candy out of pets' reach. Chocolate and other ingredients can be toxic. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
• Keep pets indoors, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. Masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people may become frightening.
• If you choose a costume for your pet, forgo masks and make sure costumes are comfortable and do not pose a risk for injury.
• Halloween décor can be dangerous, so keep it safely away from pets. Candle flames can set fire to their fur. Hanging or dangling decorations can be an entanglement or choking hazard.
• Leave your pet at home or in a secure environment when trick-or-treating.