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Halloween season is here and youngsters will soon be out showing off their costumes at area fall festivals and through traditional house-to-house trick-or-treating. The Thomasville Police Department encourages local trick-or-treating activities take place on Monday, October 31st. TPD also offers safety tips to keep young ones safe during the festivities.

"Halloween brings children of all ages out in our community," said Police Chief Troy Rich. "While we want everyone to have a fun holiday, we want to make sure that everyone is safe while doing so."

To ensure the traditional evening is both safe and enjoyable for our residents, extra police patrol will be scheduled during traditional trick-or-treating hours, which is typically from 6 pm – 9 pm. TPD also offers the following tips for residents and their young family members:

• Trick-or-treat during early evening-dusk; most activity should end by nightfall.

• Children should walk in pairs, and always stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, then they should walk on the edge of yards, and as a last resort on the edge of the road.

• Adults should accompany children, especially those under age 12.

• Children should wear reflective clothing. Also, consider using glow sticks or flashlights with fresh batteries to increase visibility.

• If a costume includes a mask, an adult should insure that the mask does not restrict the child’s visibility.

• Adults should pin a slip of paper on young children with their child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket, in case he or she gets separated from the group.

• Use a safe route with good lighting and limit activity to familiar neighborhoods.

• Adults should inspect treats before children are allowed to eat them. Throw out unwrapped or unpackaged candy.

Motorists are also encouraged to observe Halloween safety, since this will increase the number of pedestrians on our streets and roads. "If you are driving, eliminate any distractions inside your car, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings," said Rich. "Make sure you take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs."

Motorists should drive slowly and cautiously through residential neighborhoods. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. "Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways," said Rich.

Generally, trick-or-treaters should stick to neighborhoods, family and friends they are familiar with instead of trick-or-treating in unfamiliar areas. "Parents who are driving and parking in or near neighborhoods should obey ‘No Parking’ signs and all curbs painted red or yellow that prohibit parking," Rich said. "They should also park safely well off the road shoulder of major roads, and be sure not to block the entrances to neighborhoods or private driveways."

"Trick or Treating activities should be fun for all," said Rich. "If we all do our part, we can make sure the evening is fun and safe for our community."