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Put safety first this Halloween

As children prepare to make their annual costumed trek throughout the Tri-State Area on Thursday evening, we ask parents to make safety a priority this Halloween.

Following some common-sense rules will ensure a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.

Parents should always accompany young children or make sure an adult or responsible teenager is with them when going door to door. Local police and law enforcement agencies will be patrolling, but they can’t be everywhere.

Youngsters should be reminded of a few rules before they go out trick-or-treating, and make sure they carry a flashlight and have reflective material on costumes. Remember, costumes shouldn’t restrict movement. Youngsters should wear masks that don’t restrict vision, and masks shouldn’t be worn when walking from house to house.

Children always should go house to house in groups, and in rural areas where there aren’t sidewalks, children and adults accompanying them should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

It’s important to note that children should stay in familiar neighborhoods and only visit homes where the porch light is on.

Adults must remember that youngsters should not be on streets and only cross streets at intersections. Too often children have been struck by cars and seriously injured or killed during trick-or-treating because they have darted into traffic at night.

And parents should make sure a costume is made of flame-retardant material.

Also, at the end of the evening when the children return home with bags of candy, parents should inspect the candy, and anything that looks suspicious should be thrown out.

Motorists, too, should exercise extreme caution during trick-or-treat hours. First off, know what those hours are in your neighborhood, and drive more slowly to prevent accidents.

Homeowners often are overlooked when the discussion turns to precautions for Halloween safety, but those who wish to participate in the yearly tradition should make sure their yards are clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots or anything that can trip youngsters.

With all this said, have a safe and happy Halloween.

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