Halloween 2018: Local law enforcement offers tips to keep you and your children safe
After weeks and sometimes months of coming up with the perfect Halloween costume, the last thing trick-or-treaters want is to ruin that costume by having to wear rain gear or a heavy winter jacket.
Fortunately for Centre County ghosts and goblins, temperatures are expected to be mild Wednesday evening. However, scattered showers are forecast.
“A cold front is going to be pushing its way into the area tomorrow, and we’re expecting scattered showers starting tomorrow evening, probably mid- to late afternoon,” John Banghoff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College, said. “They’re going to be widely scattered. We’re not expecting a ton by the way of accumulation, it’s not going to be a washout by any means, but I would certainly would encourage folks to take an umbrella.”
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-60s for most of Wednesday, which Banghoff said is above average for this time of year.
“Average highs this time of year are usually in the 50s, so it’ll feel a little milder, which is really, really nice,” he said. “In terms of winds, we’re not expecting winds to be too strong. It’ll pick up going through the evening, as that cold front approaches, as we get into the evening. Maybe 5-10 mph winds coming out of the southwest.”
By the time trick-or-treat starts at 6 p.m. for most of Centre County, Banghoff said temperatures will be in the low 60s, maybe dropping to around 59-61 degrees by 8 p.m.
Although scattered showers are expected throughout the evening, Banghoff said it’s not expected to accumulate more than a half-inch.
What can trick-or-treaters do to keep safe?
The Ferguson Township and Bellefonte police departments, as well as the Clinton County Department of Emergency Services offered tips on their Facebook pages that can help trick-or-treaters anywhere stay safe while out Wednesday night:
- Only go to homes that are well lit with their porch lights on. Stick to safe, well-lit and familiar neighborhoods.
- Take a flashlight or glowstick to carry.
- Stay outside and do not go into any homes unless invited in by a known individual and with a responsible adult.
- Younger kids should trick-or-treat with a responsible adult supervisor, and older kids are encouraged to travel in groups.
- Cross streets safely. Look both ways and hold the hand of an adult.
- Teens out by themselves should let their parents know where they’re going and carry a cellphone with them.
- Travel in groups and stay on the main streets. Don’t cut through backstreets or fields.
- Be alert. Don’t text or talk on the phone while walking or crossing the street.
- Don’t pull pranks. Vandalism such as throwing eggs at a house is against the law.
- Respect animals. Mistreating animals, including cats, is also illegal.
- Follow costume safety guidelines by making sure costumes are flame-retardant and void of tripping hazards. Use reflector strips for visibility, especially on dark clothes, and wear masks you can see through not only in front, but also through the sides.
- Adhere to the scheduled trick-or-treat times and curfews.
- Motorists should use extra caution during trick-or-treat. Drive slowly and be on the lookout for increased pedestrian traffic.
- Wait until returning home and checking treats and candy before consumption.
- Keep Halloween decorations like dried flowers, corn stocks and crepe paper away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
- Use battery-operated candles or glowsticks to light jack-o-lanterns. If using a real candle, use extreme caution and long, fireplace-style matches or utility lighters to light them. Watch children and keep the pumpkins far away from trick-or-treaters, doorsteps and yards, and anything that can burn fast.
- Remind children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles.
- Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working and that no decorations are blocking exit routes.
What time does trick-or-treat start?
Trick-or-treat in most places in the county, including Bellefonte, Centre Hall, State College, Philipsburg, Snow Shoe, Milesburg, Howard and Ferguson, Harris, College, Patton, Boggs, Spring and Walk townships, are holding trick-or-treat from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile Halfmoon Township residents get an extra hour with a 5:30 p.m. start and 8:30 p.m. end time.