NEWS

West Columbia Police Chief Marion Boyce stresses Halloween safety

Halloween is Sunday, Oct. 31. It has evolved from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which included the lighting of bonfires and wearing costumes to ward off ghosts.

Halloween 2020, was impacted by COVID, but this year Halloween is back.

Chief Boyce – WCPD

With more children expected to be back out on the streets this year, families should remember to put safety first.

Don’t let Halloween be tragic. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Kidsafe.org.

Because of the risks, the West Columbia Police Department will be vigilant.

“We’ll have patrols out there Saturday and Sunday,” said WCPD Chief Marion Boyce. “We’ll be visible for Halloween.”

Boyce said police officers will work to help make sure the streets are safe for kids who are trick-or-treating. He offered some safety tips, too.

“First of all, look out for traffic,” said Boyce. He also said children should be accompanied by an adult. “Don’t go out alone,” Boyce said.

“Wear bright clothes and carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can be seen,” he said. As children go door-to-door, Boyce said it is important to be cautious. “Walk your child to the door and don’t go inside.”

You also need to be cautious after the trick-or-treat is over.

Glow sticks – Kidsafe.org graphics

Once your child has the candy haul, screen the treats,” Boyce said. “Inspect the candy. Make sure none of it has been re-wrapped. If anything looks suspicious or like it’s been tampered with; if it looks out of place, don’t eat it.”

Boyce said there are online resources that outline precautions for kids on Halloween. A popular site is Kidsafe.org. Below are some safety tips from that site.

Top Tips for Halloween Safety

  • Carry glow sticks or flashlights, use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and bags, and wear light colors to help kids see and be seen by drivers.
  • Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating.
  • Slow down and be alert! Kids are excited on Halloween and may dart into the street. Turn on headlights early in the day to spot kids from further away.
  • Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  • Choose face paint over masks when possible. Masks can limit children’s vision.