A good plan for Halloween

Published 9:26 pm Monday, October 28, 2013

halloween story-WEBHalloween may be the scariest day of the year but there are ways trick-or-treating can be made a little less scary for parents and kids alike.

“Be careful and have a plan,” said Major Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

The plan Watson’s advocating: parents should know where their children are going trick-or-treating and when they’ll return home; and kids making a plan with their friends — who to call and how to react in case something bad happens.

“A good plan can head off a lot of problems,” Watson said.

“Small children need to be with an adult,” said Lt. William Chrismon, spokesman for the Washington Police Department. “Adults need to get out of the car and walk with the child and not drive alongside them. Parents should be award of where their children are at—that’s probably one of the biggest things: be attentive to your children.”

Other cautions include making sure costumes are a visible color or of reflective material; vision shouldn’t be impaired by any type of costume mask. If a costume does include wearing a mask, Watson said trick-or-treaters should never enter a business wearing it.

“Only trick-or-treat in areas that are well-lit and you should never trick-or-treat by yourself,” he added.

But it’s not just those in costume looking for a handout that should beware Thursday night: parents should examine their children’s candy before allowing them a treat and motorists should also take extra caution. Not only will law enforcement be cracking down on impaired driving with a Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign, but drivers should also be on the lookout for children on foot or on bikes near the roadway — kids in costume at night aren’t always easy to see.

Watson said the sheriff’s office might see an increase in reports of suspicious activity on Halloween night, but criminal activity seems largely confined to mischief:

“Thankfully, the (incidents) are fairly minor  —  busted pumpkins or littering, those types of things.”

Chrismon said Washington police will have extra manpower out, just to “take care of business and make sure we have a safe Halloween.”