Valdosta Daily Times

October 28, 2012

Preparing for trick or treat

Staff Writer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta has set trick-or-treating for 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Traditionally, county residents follow these same times and date.

“Extra police patrols will be scheduled during this time to ensure the evening is both safe and enjoyable for our citizens,” said Sementha Mathews, City of Valdosta public information officer.

While many youngsters have already prepared their Halloween costumes, some additional preparation will keep youngsters and their parents safe while trick-or-treating. With the time not falling back until next weekend, as opposed to the once-traditional last Sunday in October time change, youngsters will have daylight during the first hour or so of trick-or-treating.

Nonetheless, everyone should take precautions Wednesday evening. What follows are tips provided by the City of Valdosta and other resources.

• Children should walk in pairs.

• Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

• Adults should accompany children under 12.

• Children should wear flame-resistant costumes, and fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see them.

• Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.

• Adults should pin a slip of paper on their children with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case he or she gets separated from the group.

• In addition to selecting a safe route with good lighting, children should also be equipped with flashlights with fresh batteries or glow sticks to increase visibility.

• Children should look both ways before crossing the street, and use established crosswalks wherever possible.

• Adults should inspect treats before children are allowed to eat them. Throw out unwrapped or unpackaged candy.

• Don’t paint your child’s face without testing the makeup first to ensure they’re not allergic to it.

• Don’t leave candles unattended. Everyone loves the glow of candles in a freshly carved pumpkin, but make sure that the flame is away from floor level so that children’s costumes can’t get caught in it, and never leave candles burning if you are not at home.

• Candy does expire, especially chocolate, and if you have leftovers from last Halloween, throw them out and buy fresh candy to hand out. Candy can be safely stored for several months but not indefinitely.

• Motorists, remember, children and adults will likely be on the streets Wednesday evening. Drive carefully.

 More information: Contact Valdosta Police Department Cmdr. Bernard Robinson, (229) 293-3104.