Ocean County Press Release

IF THIS HALLOWEEN is going to be scary, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders wants to be sure the frights are strictly of the ghostly kind.

"The only horrors we want our children exposed to are the scary masks and costumes that will prowl our communities this Halloween," said Freeholder Director John P. Kelly.

Kelly, who is director of Law and Public Safety, said parents should carefully check all costumes before children venture out for trick-or-treating.

"Kids should wear makeup instead of masks so their vision isn't blocked while going door to door," Kelly said. "Also make sure that costumes fit well and don't pose a tripping hazard."

Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari also asked that motorists pay special attention when driving on trick-or-treat night.
According to federal statistics, adolescents are four times more likely to be struck by an automobile on Halloween than on any other night of the year.

"If children are out while you are driving, slow down and be extra careful of children walking along the side of the road," he said. "Some kids will wear dark costumes and may be difficult to see."

Vicari, who is liaison to The Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs, also released a list of safety tips for parents and children:
· An adult should accompany young children.
· Trick-or-treat only on well-lit streets in the child's neighborhood or in an area they are familiar with.
· Only approach a house that has outside lights on.
· Never walk on the shoulder of the road. Use sidewalks or walk on the grass.
· Costumes should be made with light-colored material. Use reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
· Trick-or-treaters should carry flashlights.
· Parents should carefully check all candy before children eat their treats.
· Parents should teach children to walk and not run as they go from house to house.
· Youngsters should wear only flame-resistant costumes.

"It's important to check every costume for a flame retardant label," Vicari said. "Some cheap or counterfeit costumes may not be safe to wear."

He advised residents to purchase their Halloween costumes at a reputable business in Ocean County.

Vicari also encouraged parents to visit the Megan's Law Online Database to check if any convicted sex offenders live in the area where children may trick-or-treat.

"This only takes a few minutes and can make a big difference in keeping a child safe."

The database can be accessed through a link on the Ocean County Government Homepage at www.co.ocean.nj.us.

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