NEW CUMBERLAND - Halloween safety is about more than avoiding unwrapped treats, Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.
The leading cause of injuries on Halloween night is falls, Fletcher said, noting that children are more likely to be struck and injured by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year.
"Halloween is an exciting time for children and adults, but with the distraction of candy and costumes, safety rules can easily be forgotten," he said.
Trick-or-treat hours in Hancock County are 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Chester, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in New Cumberland, and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Newell, New Manchester and other unincorporated parts of the county.
Fletcher also reminded motorists to drive slow and watch out for trick-or-treaters. He said homeowners should make sure their walkways are clear and their porch lights are on if they are expecting trick-or-treaters.
Fletcher said much of Halloween safety is about common sense:
Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult.
Children should be reminded of everyday safety rules, such as looking both ways before crossing the street.
Choose a costume that is bright, reflective and flame-retardant.
Use makeup instead of masks and make sure the costume is not a tripping hazard.
Fletcher said parents should have their children go to well-lit houses, stay on the porches and go out in the daylight during designated hours. Older children should go out in groups, carry a cellphone and know contact numbers, he said.
"Adults should inspect their children's candy and remove any choking hazards for younger children," he said.