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Keep children safe on Halloween

With costumes, eerie decorations and, of course, lots of candy, Halloween is usually a fun time for children.

But, though a little scare may be fun for some, it’s important to stay safe while trick-or-treating and celebrating.

Here are some tips for staying safe on Halloween, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association and the National Crime Prevention Council:

* Make sure costumes don’t have billowing or long trailing fabric. Also make sure the material isn’t one that will easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.

* Keep flammable decorations, such as dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper, away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

* It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o’lantern. If you use a real candle, make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit.

* Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.

* Parents should be familiar with homes and occupants on their child’s trick-or-treat route. Parents may register for free at, enter their addresses and instantly see an easy-to-read map showing sex offenders residing or working in the vicinity. offers many other free resources to improve safety as well.

* Children should wear reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights or glow sticks when trick-or-treating during evening hours.

* Drivers should be wary of trick-or-treaters walking the streets on Halloween.

* Trick-or-treaters should only approach homes that are well-lit, both inside and out. Instruct children never to enter a home without parental permission.

* Children should always trick-or-treat under the supervision of a trusted adult or teenager.

* In the event they are grabbed by a stranger, instruct children to yell “This person is trying to take me!” or “This is not my mother/father!” and to resist by pulling, walking or running away.

* Younger children should always be accompanied all the way to the door of the home when trick-or-treating.

Have a safe, fun Halloween.

(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)