Commonwealth Journal

October 31, 2013

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

Halloween shouldn’t be scary for the wrong reasons.
Practicing good safety precautions during trick-or-treating can go a long way toward increasing peace of mind on the spookiest of holidays.
Capt. Shannon Smith of the Somerset Police Department said that the main issue that arises during trick-or-treat time is pedestrian traffic mixed with increased vehicle traffic, as parents shuttle their kids from one end of the neighborhood to the other or follow their kids as they go down the road.
“It’s important that anyone who drives in a subdivision to keep their speeds to a minimum,” he said. “It’s not like a parking lot where there’s abundant lighting. Halloween tends to bring out dark-colored clothing and costumes make it more difficult to see.”
At Halloween Blast this Friday at the SomerSplash waterpark, police will be handing old glow sticks, handy tools for helping kids be seen that are fun to hold too.
“We encourages (use of glow sticks) to make kids more visible,” said Smith.
The SPD captain also said that while Somerset hasn’t had a case of candy being tampered with in memory, parents are still advised to take precautions when sorting out their kids’ candy haul, and be wary of any items that have packaging that’s open at all.
“Parents should take special attention before kids consume candy to inspect it,” said Smith. “Any time you obtain a package outside of a retail establishment, take the time to inspect it to make sure you got what you expected to receive. It’s a general rule for Halloween that fits into a lot of circumstances.”
Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood noted that parents taking their children trick-or-treating should stick to well-lit areas where it’s clear that houses are occupied and inviting to families.
“Go to the houses that have their lights on,” said Wood. “Don’t go where there are no lights.”
Also, “stay in groups,” advised the sheriff. “Don’t go off by yourself. There’s proven to be safety in numbers.”
If at all possible, try to wear reflective clothing, said Wood. “Allow people to see you on the side of the street.”