BUCKHANNON – Tuesday is trick-or-treat night throughout Buckhannon and Upshur County, and local law enforcement officials have some tips to ensure your child’s evening ends with guffaws rather than groans.
Upshur County Sheriff Mike Coffman and his office distributed trick-or-treating bags filled with glowsticks and other goodies to kids at elementary schools across the county this past week, including Buckhannon Christian Academy. The bags have safety tips printed on the outside as a handy reminder.
Trick-or-treat time, slated for 6 to 7: 30 p.m., in both the city and county, has been scheduled to coincide this year and will take place on Halloween itself.
Here are a few safety tips from the sheriff’s office:
- Go trick-or-treating with a trusted adult.
- Wear a costume that allows you to see and hear clearly.
- Make sure your costume fits well so you don’t accidentally trip over it.
- Visit only places that you’re familiar with.
- Always bring a flashlight with you.
- At the end of the evening, have a parent or other trusted adult check your candy.
Coffman also wanted to assure residents that officers will be out and about that evening.
“We’ll have deputies in every area of the county as an extra precaution,” the sheriff said.
Coffman thanked Kelley Tierney State Farm, Jen Kesling State Farm and Mike Tustin State Farm for the businesses’ sponsorship of the trick-or-treat bags.
Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory, who previously wrote a column about Halloween safety, agreed with the safety tips but also wanted to remind kids never to eat unopened candy. In addition, he emphasized the importance of recognizing the potential of “stranger danger.” When the city police department has its Halloween safety program, that’s one of the major tips police officers explain to kids.
“We teach them that a stranger is simply someone that you don’t know, not just a scary guy or a bad guy,” Gregory said. “Strangers, in many cases, can be very nice. That being said, the most crucial rule about strangers is that we don’t talk to them, we don’t take rides with them, and we don’t take anything from them.”
“If a stranger tries to get them to do any of these things, we tell them to tell an adult immediately,” he added.
The police chief said it’s important that children walk on the sidewalk instead of running from house to house or taking shortcuts through yards – and that they know how to cross streets safely.
If your little one isn’t ready to venture from house to house yet, the police department’s annual Trunk-or-Treat on Monday, Oct. 30 is a good alternative – or an excuse to get at least two uses out of that costume.
Trunk-or-Treat is held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Public Safety Complex parking lot, located at 22 South Florida Street.