Police & Fire

Guest Column

Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month: Halloween Safety

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad has served the town for more than 75 years. Credits: John Mooney

Scotch Plains, NJ - Witches, ghosts, and goblins, oh my!  Halloween is a time for make-believe and fun.  Let’s make sure our kids stay safe and get to enjoy all those trick and treats.

Many people are aware of the importance of checking candy before letting kids eat them, but there are other dangers out there as well.  For example, according to the organization Safe Kids USA, “children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than at any other time of the year.”

If you can, go out early with your kids so there is still some daylight left.  If this isn’t possible, make sure there is reflective tape on their costumes and bags, or have kids carry glow sticks.  Stay on sidewalks at all times. If there aren’t sidewalks, walk facing traffic and stay as close to the side of the road as possible. Make sure costumes fit well so kids don’t trip, and instead of masks, try to use face paint.  This a much better option, but if kids are wearing masks, make sure they don’t block their vision.  Regarding costumes, also make sure they are flame-resistant.

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For older kids, stress the importance of putting down their phones and paying attention to where they are going. Tell them to make sure driver’s see them when crossing the street or walking past driveways. Also, it is better to go in groups than all alone, and to stay in neighborhoods they’re familiar with. 

Drivers, remember that on Halloween there are more kids out running around than usual, and take precautions. Some will be wearing dark costumes which will make them hard to see, and because of their excitement, they may dart out into the street or between cars unexpectedly. So, on this day, drive a little slower than usual through neighborhoods and be extra vigilant. Turn down the music, stay off the phone, and make sure your headlights are on, even if it’s not dark yet.  We want our little princesses and super heroes to get home safely.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.  With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. 

We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do.  In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge.  Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you.  (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or scotchplainsrescuesquad@gmail.com.

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