Safety is top concern for Halloween trick-or-treaters

ALBANY, Ga. -- The traditional "Pumpkin Patrol" will be out and about, but Albany Police Department officers would also like people to take care while trick-or-treaters grab candy today.

Many area communities including Albany, Leesburg and Camilla, moved the Halloween celebration to today instead of the traditional Oct. 31 because it falls on a Sunday this year.

No matter the day, safety is the top concern for everyone involved with the candy fest.

"We want children to have a good time," said APD Sgt. Kinshishi Adams, "but we want parents to be with the kids in groups on the sidewalks."

The Albany Police Department sends out a "Pumpkin Patrol" to monitor traffic, keep people on sidewalks, return lost children home and generally lend a hand in keeping everyone safe. Officials say it always helps if parents and children follow some tips to keep themselves safe:

- Start early while it is still light.

- Walk in groups of four or five, preferably with an adult.

- Carry one or two flashlights to see and be seen by drivers.

- Wear light, reflective material on back and front.

- Stay on the sidewalks in your neighborhood. Avoid crossing larger streets such as Oglethorpe and Slappey boulevards.

- Go to residences with porch lights lit. No lights, skip the house. Adults should go to the residence with their children.

- Wear masks on top of the head as you walk between homes so that you can see clearly.

- Drivers should put their headlights on even if it isn't dark. They should also drive more slowly as if they were in a school zone when school lets out.

- Check all Halloween goodies before children unwrap and eat them to make sure they have not been re-wrapped with other materials.