The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 26, 2012

Beware of the little ghosts, goblins and witches as they trick-or-treat

— Pumpkins and would-be pirates and princesses, be aware.

Trick or treating and Halloween parties begin in our area this weekend and will be conducted through Wednesday.

With it come hundreds of costumed children roaming our streets in search of candy to fill their pails or bags.

We ask that motorists plan accordingly and avoid driving in highly congested areas during trick or treat times when possible.

And we strongly suggest that parents and guardians accompany their children on a planned route.

Also, consider a safe alternative to trick or treating, by attending one of many events hosted by a variety of churches or local organizations that provide ways to celebrate at one location.

But if you do decide to hit the streets, the following tips for a safe Halloween are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

— Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

— Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

— Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

— Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

— Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always walk and don’t run from house to house.

— Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

— Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

— Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

— Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

— Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

— Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

— Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

— Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween experience.