LUMBERTON — As costumed ghouls and goblins take to the streets on Halloween night, police are urging trick-or-treaters and their parents to avoid the real danger — reckless behavior.
“Halloween is a fun time in Robeson County, but let’s make it a safe time as well,” said Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey in a statement. “The major dangers are not from witches or spirits, but rather from falls and car crashes.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are four times more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
Sealey said both the county and city of Lumberton will be increasing patrols on Wednesday night. Lumberton police Capt. Jerome Morton said that more uniformed officers will be patrolling neighborhoods, “especially those with a lot of trick-or-treating.”
“We’ll have more uniformed patrols out that will probably be riding with their blue lights on so they’ll be highly visible,” he said.
Morton advises trick-or-treaters go to familiar neighborhoods and travel in groups.
All children younger than 12 must be supervised by an adult or an older youth, and parents should go over traffic and pedestrian safety with their children, Sealey said. If children are going trick-or-treating without a parent, parents should know the names of their child’s companions and create a route for the children to follow.
“Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun,” Sealey said.
Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight, Sealey said, only stop at well-lit houses or apartments, and never enter a stranger’s home. Other tips for a safe Halloween include:
— Children should not eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
— Trick-or-treaters should use sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, trick-or-treaters should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
— Motorists should watch for children coming from between parked cars and children in dark clothing, and be extra cautious when entering or exiting driveways or alleys.
— Trick-or-treaters shouldn’t wear masks that limit their vision. They should carry light-colored or reflective candy bags.
— If a homeowner is expecting trick-or-treaters, remove all obstacles from lawns, steps, or porches that could cause a trick-or-treater to fall. Keep candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from areas where costumes could brush against the flames.
— Pin a slip of paper with emergency contact information inside of a trick-or-treater’s pocket in case the child is separated from a group.
Wednesday Halloween celebrations:
— Maxton: Trick or treat around town from 5 to 8 p.m.
— Parkton: Truck of treats from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Town Square.
— Pembroke: Trick or treat 5:30 to 8 p.m. throughout town and celebrate at Old Pembroke Town Park from 6 to 8 p.m.
— Fairmont: Trick or Treat around town from 6 to 9 p.m. Dr. Electrode and the Farmers Festival Queens will hand out treats at Fairmont Town Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
— Lumberton: Trick or treating hours from 6 to 8 p.m.; Dunk-or-treat from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club at 1310 N. Seneca St.
— Red Springs: Trick or treat around town from 6 to 8 p.m.
— Rowland: Trick or treat around town from 6 to 8 p.m.