October 24, 2014

Officials urge safety on Halloween

Halloween is almost a week away, but many Wisconsin communities will hold their trick or treating hours this weekend so kids can go out when there’s daylight.

Local authorities are putting out their usual safety notices. Once again this year, state probation and parole agents will be on the prowl for high-risk sex offenders who open their homes to young kids in violation of their releases. Marathon County sheriff’s lieutenant Mark Wagers says parents need to be watchful of their young ghosts and goblins both during and after their travels.

Wagers says there’s greater safety in numbers, especially in rural areas, and kids need to travel together, escorted by older teens or adults. If it’s dark, they’ll need reflective gear, and the escorts should make sure they follow all traffic laws.

Back home, Wagers says parents need to check the candy and make sure their kids don’t eat treats that will give them food allergies. Wagers also warned against vandalism, saying that citations and arrests will be made according to severity of the violations.

Meanwhile, state Department of Transportation officials are warning about the potential for impaired drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is a factor in about half of all traffic fatalities that occur on Halloween night. Adults whose Halloween plans include alcohol consumption should think ahead, arrange for a designated driver or other safe way home. If you’re hosting a party, don’t allow guests to drive home drunk.

Raymond Neupert, WSAU, Wausau