The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 31, 2013

Safety tips for ghouls hunting treats

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Halloween can be a frightfully good time, so long as trick-or-treaters stay safe during the night.

“If they are wearing dark colored clothing, we suggest they wear something fluorescent, if not they should carry a light on them,” said Eric Gill, chief of Danville’s police department. Officer Matt Gerst, of the Mahoning Township Police Department, suggested that an LED blinker or light stick could also be used to increase a child’s visibility.

Additionally, a costume should allow its wearer to see and hear any oncoming traffic, as well fitting well enough not to trip over, both officers advised. “We like to make sure they wear clothing that is visible and that they can see out of,” Gill said.

Children should be accompanied by a parent or similar adult at all times and only go to houses they are familiar with. Homes that want visitors that night will usually leave their porch lights on, Gill said.

Before a child eats candy, an adult should check it to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with, Gill said. This can be a bit tougher to determine with homemade treats, but if they come from a well-known neighbor or community member they should be fine, he said.

Most Halloween safety comes down to common sense, Gerst said. However, “if there’s any safety issue you’re concerned with, if someone’s traveling around trying to get kids into their car or you feel someone’s out watching and trying to take kids, call 911 and let us check it out immediately,” he said.

Thankfully, both Gerst and Gill said previous Halloweens had been safe experiences in their communities. “Luckily, we have not had any incidents that I’m aware of, of bad candy or people getting hit by cars,” Gill said.

Gerst did have one last tip for trick-or-treaters Halloween night: “Watch out for zombies and don’t get bit.”

Trick-or-treating will be from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight in Mahoning Township, Danville and Riverside.