Halloween tricks lead to safe treats

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin carving: Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace speaks to a group a Bovina Elementary School students about Halloween safety Tuesday afternoon.

Pumpkin carving: Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace speaks to a group a Bovina Elementary School students about Halloween safety Tuesday afternoon.

Halloween is a much-anticipated holiday for both children and adults. With activities for all ages there aren’t too many people missing out on the fun. But even having fun can be dangerous and there are safety concerns to be aware of while both inside and outside on Halloween night.

On Tuesday Warren County Sheriff Pace carved a pumpkin while instructing the students of Bovina Elementary School about Halloween safety. Pace has been holding these assemblies for the schools of Warren County for more than 15 years. “One of the most important things we do is talk to you about being safe,” explained Pace as he began to talk to students about Halloween safety.

Parents and family groups offer a littany of advice for a safe Halloween. They say children under 12 should not trick-or-treat without adult supervision. The responsibility of a child should not be left to a teenager, an older sibling or friend. Teenagers are easily distracted and can be impulsive. When parents and guardians are trick-or-treating with children they should be mindful of everything around them.

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Even on Halloween, basic pedestrian guidelines still apply. Pace said do not zigzag back and forth across the street while trick-or-treating. “We don’t want anyone bumped by a car,” Pace said while demonstrating how to cross at the end of the street. “It is best to trick-or-treat up one side of the street and then down the next. Look left, right and left again before crossing the street.”

Groups say try to wear masks that do not completely cover the face or hinder perfect vision. They advise costumes should not be too baggy or long. Be mindful of extra material such as capes and trains. Children can trip, get caught on something or be grabbed by the extra material behind them, groups say.

Costumes can act as camouflage later in the evening so costumes should be light in color. Costumes can be decorated with glow-sticks and reflective tape. It is a good idea for everyone participating to walk with a flashlight.

Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong and Pace advised drivers to slow down on Halloween night. Drivers should anticipate heavy foot traffic and are cautioned to minimize all distractions inside the vehicle. Armstrong and Pace are assigning additional men to the streets. Every deputy from the sheriff’s department will be on patrol Friday night along with 20 additional officers from the police department.

Both the chief and the sheriff are asking that everyone participating in Halloween this year make good decisions and be as safe as possible.

Pace was asked to hold his first Halloween safety assembly 15 years go for Sherman Avenue and thought “that would be kind of be cool be cool to carve a pumpkin.” He’s combined these Jack-o’-lantern and safety lessons ever since. Sheriff Pace has been to every school in Vicksburg since starting these assemblies.

Trick-or-treating will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. Starting at 6 p.m. gives the residence of Vicksburg time to get home from work putting less traffic on the streets for people trick-or-treating.