NORWICH – Area police agencies would like to remind Halloween Night trick-or-treaters, as well as their parents and motorists, to keep safety in mind when heading out tonight.
“We have excited children, in large amounts, walking on darkened streets with increased vehicle traffic,” said Norwich Chief Joseph Angelino. “Many children will be walking in unfamiliar neighborhoods while wearing costumes and carrying bags. Paying attention to traffic may not be every child’s priority. Norwich has several streets with no sidewalks and motorist sneed to take extra care when operating a vehicle on these streets,” he said.
The Norwich Police Department offers these Halloween safety tips:
• Parents or other adults should accompany children.
• On streets with no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
• Wear light colors, carry a flashlight and have reflective tape on portions of clothing.
• Only cross at street intersections. Walk the entire side of a street before crossing.
• Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing a street.
Angelino said officers were invited into local schools this week to educate children about Halloween safety. “These school visits took place in the days just before October 31st, so that the lessons learned will be fresh in the students minds,” he said.
Chenango County Sheriff Thomas J. Loughren shared similar concerns, saying, “Halloween is a fun time in Chenango County, but let’s make it a safe time as well.”
The Sheriff had these recommendations for Halloween travelers:
• When designing your costume or one for your children’s, try to use face paint instead of a mask. A mask can limit peripheral vision and possibly affect proper respiration. Be sure to mind traffic carefully if wearing anything that may limit your vision or ability to turn your head or body quickly.
• All children should be accompanied and parents or guardians should walk with them. You should be cautious about allowing your child to run ahead; police recommend you wait at the driveway, sidewalk or doorway.
• Older children should travel together in pairs or groups. They should avoid dark or empty side streets and roads. Parents should be aware of where their children will be trick or treating.
• Unlit homes should be avoided.
• Children should wait until they get home to open their candy. Parents should inspect the candy to make sure it is properly wrapped. Any suspicious looking candy should be thrown away. If a child gets sick, the police recommend calling a doctor or hospital immediately and parents should save the wrappers and uneaten candy.
Loughren said the Sheriff’s Office will screen any suspicious candy brought to it at the County Jail tonight between 5 and 10 p.m.
The Norwich Fire Department ask residents to be aware of Halloween decorations such as burning Jack-o-lanterns and electronic decorations. Open flames should be kept out of reach from young children. Firefighters also want people be conscious of where potential fire hazards might be, such as drapes, furniture and other Halloween decorations. Homes with such displays should not be abandoned.
Angelino added that officers will be on foot, bicycle and in cars in both uniform and plain clothes.
Police also want parents to make themselves aware of sex offenders living in their area. Addresses for registered sexual offenders should be noted and avoided, they warned. If a known offender in your area is receiving children at their residence, contact police immediately.
Links to these sites can also be found on NPD website norwichpd.org or at the Sheriff’s website, www.chenangosheriff.us.