The Times West Virginian

Local News

October 30, 2008

Fun and safe Halloween

Important steps can cut risks for trick-or-treaters

FAIRMONT — Today is trick-or-treat in Fairmont, a time when hundreds of ghosts, ghouls and goblins will invade city streets looking for goodies.

But along with the fun of the holiday, a certain amount of risk is involved when large amounts of children are moving about the city searching for treats. Recently, area emergency responders offered tips to help keep children safe during trick-or-treat.

“First of all, parents should buy flame-retardant costumes,” said Fairmont Fire Chief Roger Wilson. “And children should carry a flashlight or a glow stick.”

Wilson added that children should also only stay out trick-or-treating during the hours designated for the activity. He noted that those hours would be the time when motorists are keeping an eye out for costume-clad youngsters. The trick-or-treat hours in Fairmont are between 6 and 7:30 p.m. today.

“And kids should wear some sort of reflective clothing,” Wilson added.

Wilson also said children should not wear masks that hinder their sight. He added that if children do have masks that restrict their sight, they should not wear them while walking. He also noted that children should not carry sharp objects as a costume prop. Knives, swords and other props should always be flexible.

Wilson also pointed out that children should use sidewalks at all times. He added that they should also obey all traffic signals and cross roads at designated crosswalks.

“And children should always look both ways before crossing the street,” Wilson added.

Detective Sgt. Doris James, with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, also listed a few helpful tips for trick-or-treat.

“Parents need to make sure that the children know the basics of safety,” she said. “They should never talk to strangers.

“Kids can start having a lot of fun and then forget the basic lessons about safety,” James added.

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