Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween safety - By Becky Longacre

Halloween is a night of fun treats and spooky scares but it can also be a time where things get out of hand. From car accidents to vandalism, injuries can not only ruin the holiday, but cause tragedy. Matt Cyr, the community service officer in Windham, shed some light on what the town can do to improve safety on this special holiday.

The Windham Eagle (TWE): Do kids really need to worry about candy safety while trick-or-treating these days? What's the biggest safety issue you see during the Halloween season?

(Cyr): Pedestrian safety. Kids and parents need to worry about the safety of the candy and pedestrian safety while out trick-or-treating. There have been many incidents throughout our country where candy has been tampered with. However, there have been way more incidents of car/pedestrian accidents where children are hurt and, unfortunately, in some cases killed.

(TWE): What's a good trick-or-treat plan? 

(Cyr): Go in groups which include a responsible adult. Wear retro reflective tape on your costumes. Have flash lights. Be sure children’s costumes don’t restrict their ability to safely walk. If they are wearing a mask, be sure it fits as to not restrict vision. Children should not eat any candy without an adult checking it first. If the wrapper looks tampered with, throw the candy out. Children should have emergency phone numbers for their parent if they are out with another adult. 

(TWE): Do you see a lot of Halloween pranks? What is the most common? The worst? 

(Cyr): We do see some pranks. It’s generally toilet papering, smashing pumpkins and throwing eggs. Some of the worst are the older teens who threaten/bully younger kids.

(TWE): What are the consequences of Halloween pranks? 

(Cyr): People can be charged with damaging property if things go too far.

(TWE): Are there public Halloween celebrations going on in Windham or Raymond? 

(Cyr): Trick-or-treating is a big event in some of the neighborhoods in Windham. It never ceases to amaze me how some residents decorate and really make the night a big event.

So, groups should remember to bring flashlights, be visible to cars and respect peoples’ property. Traffic cannot always see a dark costume, especially if it is black. Practicing pedestrian safety basics can help prevent injuries and taking small children by the hand can prevent sudden rushes toward the road. And people shouldn’t forget to have fun!

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