Ocean County Freeholders Offer Safety Tips for Halloween
With Halloween just a week away, the Ocean County freeholders advise parents of children soon to be dressed up and on the hunt for candy to take some precautions to ensure an enjoyable holiday.
“Before they leave for trick-or-treat, check your child’s costume to make sure it’s safe,” said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to the county Department of Consumer Affairs. Costumes should be flame-resistant, and, ideally, made of light-colored material if kids will be trick-or-treating in the dark. Reflective tape can also be added to costumes and candy bags.
Vicari suggested that an adult accompany young trick-or-treaters, and that parents instruct older kids to trick-or-treat on well-lit streets in familiar neighborhoods; only approach houses with lights on outside; walk on sidewalks or grass, rather than the road; and carry flashlights.
In addition, he noted, “talk to your child about the dangers of eating their treats before they’re examined by an adult.”
The freeholder also asked that motorists pay special attention when driving on Halloween, when many young ghosts and monsters are walking near roadways. According to federal statistics, the office of the freeholders pointed out, adolescents are four times more likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween than any other night of the year. “If children are out while you are driving, slow down and be extra-careful,” said Vicari.
Finally, the freeholders encourage parents to visit the Megan’s Law Online Database – which can be accessed through the Ocean County Government site, at www.co.ocean.nj.us – to check if any convicted sex offenders live in the area where their children may plan to trick-or-treat.
“It’s important to know what dangers a child may encounter when they travel through a neighborhood,” Vicari remarked. “This only takes a few minutes and can make a big difference in keeping a child safe.” —J.K.-H.