10/26/04 — Halloween safety tips

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Halloween safety tips

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 26, 2004 2:03 PM

Wayne County roads and Goldsboro streets will be filled Friday night with little ghosts, goblins and witches going door to door trick-or-treating.

The county and its municipalities -- Goldsboro, Mount Olive, Fremont, Pikeville, Walnut Creek, Eureka and Seven Springs -- will observe Halloween from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Residents who will dispense candy and other goodies were asked to keep their outside lights on for those two hours. But those who do not want to participate were asked not to turn on their lights.

"Let's make this a safe time," said Sheriff Carey Winders, "and encourage all trick-or-treaters to end by 8 p.m."

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office will offer again its popular adopt-a-deputy program. Neighborhood and subdivision representatives who want an off-duty deputy to patrol their areas were asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 731-1481 before Friday.

While Halloween is usually a fun time, children and adults were urged to follow simple precautions to ensure their safety.

Winders reminded parents that an adult should accompany the youngsters with a flashlight. Children should never go out alone; older children should walk in groups. They also should never walk on dark, deserted roads or approach darkened homes in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

The children's costumes should have adequate holes for proper breathing and vision and should be made of bright-colored, fire-retardant material. In fact, face paint is better than a mask, officials said.

Winders said any treats should not be opened or eaten until the children get home. Then the parents should inspect them to make sure that they are safe.

Police Cpls. Teresa Cox and H.L. Lewis reminded residents that their lawns, walks and drives should be clear of obstacles to prevent falls.

Trick-or-treaters also should follow all highway safety rules by walking on the left side facing traffic and crossing only at intersections.

Motorists taking children from home to home also were urged to be extra careful and not to drink and drive.

Halloween also can be a night of pranks. Parents were urged by police to know their children's routes.

"Explain to them that while you want them to have a good time," police officials said, "some tricks could hurt other children or vandalize property. Emphasize that you disapprove of vandalism."