WINNSBORO — Halloween is just around the corner and the Winnsboro Public Safety Department wants everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween, especially children.
Police Chief Freddy Lorick advised all trick-or-treaters to travel in pairs and have at least one responsible adult for every group of children. He also recommended getting an early start to finish before nightfall.
“Try and get the trick-or-treating done early to curb any danger because you don’t want to be roaming around late at night,” Lorick said.
When crossing the street, Lorick said to make sure to look in both directions and ensure that there are no cars coming. If you have a little brother or sister with you, take their hand and help them get across the street, too. If the street has a stop light, wait until the cross walk light tells you that it’s okay to cross and still look both ways.
He also suggested to wear light colored clothing and stay out of the road and on the sidewalk.
Here’s some tips just for kids:
• Never go into a stranger’s house
• Be careful when you cross a street
• Make sure your parents know where you are and who you’re with
Lorick also encouraged people participating in trick-or-treating to leave their porch lights on and said that trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight and wear something reflective on their clothing.
Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring said that trick-or-treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween and should be a fun time without danger. Herring noted that the downtown merchants would be participating in the festivities as well.
“We encourage our merchants who are entertaining trick-or-treaters to keep their lights on and always encourage parents to go along with their kids to investigate the candy and make sure the children don’t choke on any candy and make sure they are edible and appropriate,” she recommended.
Here’s some tips for parents:
• Make sure that your child has a pre-programmed cell phone
• Know the route your kids are taking
• Help your young child pick out or make a costume that will be safe
• Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop the tips are smooth and flexible
• Be sure to pre-test any makeup
• Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they are examined
Lorick said that motorists should be careful while on the road as well.
“Of course when you’re driving through the community look out for the kids and use extra precaution when obeying traffic laws,” he stated.
He also noted that officers would be looking out for trick-or-treaters and patrolling the popular areas in town.
Drivers should not pass vehicles stopped in the roadway because they could be dropping off children, which is more common in rural areas.
If you are dropping off or picking up your kids in an area, pull off the road into a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists.
Herring said Officer Donald Johnson would be patrolling the area in Ridgeway and the Ridgeway Fire Department would be in downtown to give out any Halloween safety tips.
Here’s some quick tips for motorists:
• Don’t use a cell phone
• Pay extra attention to crosswalks and intersections
• Drive below the posted speed limit
“We just want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday,” Herring said.