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Police urge Halloween safety

Halloween will be celebrated Wednesday, and trick or treat will be observed all across Halifax County and in the towns of Halifax and South Boston from 6 to 9 p.m.

Haunted trails, houses, costume contests, dances, trunk or treats and other activities are planned tonight.

Children are geared up and ready to go trick-or-treating, and area residents are reminded hundreds of young ghosts and goblins will be wearing their favorite costumes in search of delectable treats in neighborhoods across the county.

Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark, South Boston Police Chief James Binner and Town of Halifax Acting Police Chief David Irby remind all citizens to be especially careful tonight on Halloween by driving safely while children are out trick or treating.

Binner reminds citizens the age limit for trick or treating, according to South Boston Town Code, is 13 years old, and persons 16 and older cannot wear a mask in public unless they meet certain requirements established in the Code of Virginia (18.2-422). 

Due to the large turnout of trick or treaters on Washington Avenue and Brentwood subdivision in South Boston, traffic once again will be restricted this year. 

On Washington Avenue from 6 to 9 p.m. traffic will be restricted to one way from Sixth Street to Third Street. 

In Brentwood subdivision traffic will be routed from Brentwood Drive to Quail Roost Road where traffic cones will be placed on the road to direct traffic flow in the subdivision. 

Other special events tonight include the Town of Halifax and the Halifax Village Business Association’s “Howl”-O-Ween from 6 to 8 p.m. on Main Street. Treats, games, a cakewalk and a costume contest at Hite Insurance Agency will be held for children 12 and under.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 99 Children and Youth Department Committee will hold a Halloween Fun Night tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. at Post 99 located at 1035 Mallard Lane in Halifax. Children up to 12 years old are welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult. Games, a costume contest and food will be provided. All children will be admitted free.

Second Baptist Church located at 1402 Watkins Ave. in South Boston will hold a Trunk or Treat tonight from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Boston Commons will offer for little ones a night of safe trick or treating from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at its facility located at 1146 N. Main St. in South Boston.

McCanless Memorial United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Watkins Avenue and Edmunds Street, will hold its Trick or Treat in the halls tonight from 6 to 8 p.m., and trick or treaters are invited to enter the door on Watkins Avenue to a hall of treats.

For a safer Halloween night, law enforcement authorities recommend following these simple tips:

w Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make it fireproof; the eyeholes should be large enough for good peripheral vision. Wear a costume that lets you see and hear clearly.

w Be sure others can see your child in their costumes. Make sure they are wearing bright colors or something that glows in the dark.

w Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.

w Teaching your basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, will help make them safer when they are out Trick or Treating.

w It’s important to carry a flashlight.

w Tell your children to only visit people they know.

w Make sure your children always trick or treat with a trusted grown up.

w Remind your children to stay with their group.

w Remind your children to avoid dark places. 

w Remind children not to eat treats until their parent checks that they are safe.

w Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren’t going with them.

w Make sure you set a time that they should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.

w Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, clean up and damages can ruin Halloween. If they are caught vandalizing, they can be charged with vandalism or damaging property.

When parked on the side of the road turn headlights off.

For additional information about Halloween safety, visit www.halloween-safety.com