The Union Recorder

Local News

October 30, 2008

Trick-or-Treat

Officials tout safe Halloween alternatives

As trick-or-treaters of all ages get ready for Halloween revelry tonight, area law enforcement officials are encouraging parents and children to use caution and follow safety guidelines to ensure a safe holiday for everyone.

The Oconee Area Fair and the Milledgeville Mall, as well as several other churches and organizations — will hold special Halloween activities such trick-or-treating, costume contests, games and pumpkin decorating contests — in an effort to keep children off the streets and out of harm’s way.

“We would really like to encourage people to use the mall. There will be trick-or-treating and a costume contest. That’s the safest place because kids are off the street in a well-lit, supervised environment,” Milledgeville Police Department Chief Woodrow Blue.

For those who do choose to trick-or-treat in a residential area, law enforcement officials suggest driving slowly, using caution, and bringing appropriate tools to help see and be seen by drivers.

“Drive sensibly, and drive a lot slower, especially in residential areas,” said Blue. “And go trick-or-treating toward the early part of the evening. Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. is the best time.”

“One thing that a lot of people don’t think of is the use of small flashlights,” said Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Ken Parker, “and of course the standard reflective costumes are a great protective measure. I would also encourage trick or treating in groups.”

Parents should also inspect all candy for suspicious tampering to ensure that it’s safe for children, said officials.

With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, there will be more drivers on the road for football games and parties. Drivers should be cautious about alcohol consumption and driving on Halloween, said Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

“Adult parties have become popular on Halloween and that leads to an increase in the number of impaired drivers on Georgia’s road,” he said. “Use a designated driver.”

For a detailed list of Halloween safety tips, visit www.redcross.org.

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