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Protect your ghouls and ghosts with these Halloween safety tips

srobertsjr@vagazette.com

Halloween is not all tricks and treats; it’s a night for children to play it safe and stick to the streets.

As young boys and girls in costume hit the road seeking candy this All Hallows’ Eve, parents and their little witches and wizards should stay watchful of potential danger, according to James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams.

“Halloween is an exciting night of the year and a particularly special treat for young children,” Williams said. “It is an important time to be extra vigilant for potential safety hazards.”

While police departments throughout Greater Williamsburg will keep an eye on mischief on Halloween, they also offer up a list of tips for parents and children to stay safe.

Make sure costumes are highly visible in the dark — you can make a dark costume light up with reflective tape strips sewn or adhered to the fabric of the costume. Carry a flashlight and wear glowsticks for additional visibility and light, as children could walk on uneven terrain.

Also consider purchasing flame-retardant costumes and be wary of candles near Jack-O-Lanterns.

Keep costume items secure. For example, toy guns might not look like toy guns to a homeowner.

“If your child chooses to be a pirate and carry a sword, talk to your child about keeping the sword in a sheath and not wielding it around because it (could be) dangerous,” York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shawn Kekoa-Dearhart said.

Costumes that drag on the ground are a no-no, as they can create a tripping hazard. The same goes for masks that obstruct a child’s view.

Cross the street at intersections and in crosswalks, as the street lighting can make those areas brighter and pedestrians more visible for motorists, but still make sure to look both ways before stepping out into the roadway.

Stick to sidewalks whenever possible and walk facing traffic.

When you get home, check over your children’s candy before they eat it. If something doesn’t look right, toss it in the garbage.

Trick-or-treat hours on Halloween in James City County and Williamsburg are from 6-8 p.m. for children 12 and younger, according to Williams and Williamsburg Police Department spokesman Maj. Greg Riley.

In York, trick-or-treaters ages 12 and younger can be out from 5:30-8 p.m. on Halloween, Kekoa-Dearhart said.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329 or on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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