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Police advise on trick-or-treat safety
Law enforcement officials prefer trick-or-treaters start early and end before it becomes completely dark outside.

But the reality is lots of kids dressed as ghosts, witches, goblins and other creepy or frivolous characters will be going door-to-door after dark. That's why local law enforcement officials plan extra road patrols.

Glynn County is asking parents and children to trick-or-treat between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. today.

As a general rule, trick-or-treat only at houses with a lighted front porch. Dark front porches are usually an indication that the homeowner is not participating in the tradition of handing out candy to hungry ghosts.

Brunswick Police Capt. Kevin Jones said the most important safety tip is simple: Children should always be accompanied by an adult as they make the rounds in different neighborhoods.

Costumes should be brightly colored and have reflective tape to make them more visible to motorists. Children should also carry glow sticks or small flashlights to make it easier for them to be seen, he said.

Parents should also inspect all treats before allowing anyone to eat them.

Law enforcement officials agree homemade cookies, brownies, candies and anything else that isn't sold in stores should be thrown away.

"It's best if it's store bought," Jones said. "Inspect all kids' candy before they eat it."

Lt. Kathy Brown of the St. Marys Police Department said adults should check candy wrappers for tampering. St. Marys officials recommend trick-or-treating between 6 and 8 p.m. today.

Another safe way to celebrate Halloween is to attend an organized party where adults can let children mingle with each other.

The tradition of children begging for candy on Halloween is something Jones said local law enforcement understand remains popular in some neighborhoods.

"There's nothing wrong with trick-or-treating, as long as they are supervised," Jones said.

Brown said she gives one of the safest treats to costumed children who will ring her doorbell tonight: gift certificates for a drink at a local restaurant.

"Coupons make nice, safe gifts," she said.

Adults with plans to celebrate Halloween should also show caution.

Nationwide, Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to a high number of drunk drivers on the roads. Thirty-eight percent of fatalities on Halloween night occur in a crash involving a driver with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at, on Facebook or at 464-7655.


Halloween safety tips:

* Make sure children are accompanied by an adult or older responsible teenager.

* Children should always walk on sidewalks. On streets with no sidewalks, children should walk facing traffic.

* Children should only stop at well-lit houses and should never go inside a stranger's house.

* Review pedestrian safety rules with children.

* Ensure children don't eat any treats until they have been inspected by an adult.

* Plan and discuss a child's route, ideally in a well-lit, populated neighborhood, and establish a time to be home.

* Write a child's name, address and phone number on a piece of paper and slip it in a pocket in case a child gets separated from a group.

* Choose brightly colored, fire retardant costumes. Trick-or-treat bags should be trimmed with reflective tape.

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