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Tips for keeping Halloween safe — and fun

Staff report • Oct 31, 2018 at 7:11 AM

KINGSPORT — With thousands of local children anxious to fill their bags with treats, officials are stressing some Halloween safety suggestions to get everyone home safe and sound tonight.

Trunk-or-treats

Rather than having kids wandering along dark neighborhood streets, Kingsport police are strongly encouraging participation in trunk-or-treat events.

One of the largest in the area is hosted by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, giving children opportunities to sport their costumes and collect goodies in a safe, cordoned off environment. This year's event will be at Blountville Middle School's track and field from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

In Kingsport, the Hammond Park "Neigh-BOO-Hood" will be held from 6:30-9 p.m., where residents will greet trick-or-treaters in the well-lit, fully decorated park. Meanwhile, Rogersville's 10th annual Trunk-or-Treat will be held on Main Street from 5-8 p.m. and includes a costume contest and live music.

Street smarts

When it comes to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton says 5-8 p.m. is considered a reasonable time frame.

Safety officials frown upon masks as part of Halloween costumes, as they can obscure vision. Costumes and accessories should be fire-resistant and include reflective tape, used in conjunction with glow sticks or flashlights.

Adults should accompany young children on neighborhood rounds, while a route for older children going without their guardians needs to be pre-approved. Youths without parents should travel with friends in familiar, well-lit areas. Patton said a specific time for returning also needs to be agreed upon.

Children and adults should put away electronic devices while making the rounds, keep their heads up and walk — don't run — across streets.

Diligent driving

Considering the abundance of pedestrians out tonight, motorists are reminded to be extra careful behind the wheel, watching for children (sometimes in dark clothing) at all times.

Special care should be used in residential areas, especially while entering and exiting driveways and alleys. Patton also suggests that new or inexperienced drivers not hit the roads on Halloween night.

Any adult revelers who partake in alcohol — even just one drink — need to return home via designated driver, public transportation or taxi.

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