Health & Safety

October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Patrol ensures child safety during Halloween

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 99th Security Forces Squadron ensures the safety of base housing residents during Halloween through a program called the “Pumpkin Patrol.”

The security forces and volunteers from other units provide a safe and secure environment for children trick-or-treating through expanded foot patrols of the Nellis Landings and Terrace housing.

The foot patrols are in addition to the normal security forces presence in the area. These “Pumpkin Patrols” will be assigned a specific zone to watch and will sound the alarm for any emergency or criminal activity. Their primary objective is child safety.

Many families participate in trick-or-treating, a tradition where children dress up in a costume and go door-to-door to gather candy. Although Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday, Airmen are reminded to keep safety in mind.

“Parents should have a vested interest in preparing their children for a fun and eventful evening. As usual, there is going to be a Pumpkin Patrol watching the streets of base housing from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” said Master Sgt. Stephen Springer, 99th SFS NCO in-charge of security forces operations.

On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and injured or killed on Halloween as on any other day of the year. These accidents are preventable.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

FOR CHILDREN

· Walk; don’t run from house to house. Use streets, sidewalks and driveways to enter and leave houses.

· Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.

· Cross the streets at crosswalks or at corners, never in the middle of the street.

· Only accept candy that is wrapped or packaged.

· Wait until you get home to sort, check and eat your treats.

· Never enter the home of a stranger. If a stranger insists you come inside, leave immediately and tell a parent, a police officer or another trusted adult.

· Don’t play pranks that can hurt other people or property. If you see someone doing something they should not, tell an adult immediately.

FOR PARENTS

· Make sure an adult accompanies children as they trick-or-treat.

· Plan and discuss the route children will take, their return time and make sure they stick to it.

· Stay in familiar areas.

· Have children carry flashlights or glow-sticks for easier visibility.

· Make sure children stop only at houses that are well-lit, and teach them to never enter the home of a stranger.

· Insist treats are brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.

· Do not let children eat anything that is unwrapped or seems unusual. When in doubt, throw it out.

· Before eating any fruit, wash it and slice it into small pieces.

· Pin a slip of paper to the costumes of younger children listing the child’s name, address and telephone number in the event the child is separated from the group they are traveling with.

· Turn on your home’s exterior lights and remove any objects from your walkway that may be a hazard to trick-or-treaters. Place jack-o-lanterns out-of-reach so children won’t burn themselves or their costumes.

· If possible, send children trick-or-treating before dark.

FOR DRIVERS

· Stay alert and don’t exceed the posted speed limit. Be especially cautious in residential neighborhoods.

· Watch for children darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

Following these simple, but effective safety steps will greatly reduce your child’s risk of succumbing to a vehicle mishap.

If you notice any suspicious activity, call security forces at (702) 652-2311.

If you would like to help with the Pumpkin Patrol, email or call Master Sgt. Stephen Springer at stephen.springer@us.af.mil or (702) 652-8366 or Senior Master Sgt. Paul Beuchat at paul.beuchat@us.af.mil or (702) 652-4883.




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