The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 24, 2009

Halloween: Keep fright night all in fun

Parents advised to accompany young children

SUNBURY — Police will be keeping an eye out for your child’s safety during trick-or-treat nights across the Valley this week, but parents also have a role to play.

“The single biggest issue that parents have to look at is highway safety,” Sunbury police Chief Stephen Mazzeo said.

Visibility of small children crossing roads is a big problem, Selinsgrove police Chief Thomas L. Garlock said.

“Kids will run across streets in costumes and they’re not always visible,” Garlock said. “That’s why we think they should be accompanied by adults.”

Parents should make sure their trick-or-treating children have a flashlight, Mazzeo said.

“And that an adult is somewhere within shouting distance,” he added. “I advise parents to go along with their trick-or-treating kids, if for no other reason than when kids starting getting candy they get excited and stop thinking about traffic safety.”

Inspect the candy collected by your children, Mazzeo.

“I haven’t heard of any incidents in this area of there being any contamination, but it’s always a good thing to check what they collect,” he said.

Garlock will stress safety when he meets Tuesday with third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Selinsgrove Intermediate School.

“With the younger ones, we talk about things like not going with people who approach them,” Garlock said. “With the older fifth-graders, we’ll also talk about vandalism, asking them not to do anything stupid.”

Vandalism during trick-or-treating is not a big problem in Selinsgrove or in the Valley, Garlock said.

“I think that’s because police take a very proactive role on this day,” Garlock said. “It’s true: Every once in a while we have some minor vandalism problems. But we will have people patrolling that night. We take this day very seriously and want everyone who goes out trick-or-treating to get back home safely.”

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