West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall says make Halloween safety a priority

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall.

There are a lot of kids in West Columbia looking forward to Thursday evening because it’s Halloween. From Wonder Woman and Dr. Seuss to Goldilocks and Spiderman, the streets will be filled with children.

“We’ll have more personnel out there from the West Columbia Police Department for Halloween,” said WCPD Chief Denis Tyndall. “They’ll be keeping a special eye out to help make it as safe as it can be.”

Halloween is celebrated on October 31. According to The History Channel the tradition of Haloween originated with the “ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.” At that time, “people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.”

West Columbia Fire Department crews participated in the Trunk or Treat event at Riverbend Apartment

Halloween has evolved into the activities that include trick-or-treating, jack-o-lantern carving, and costumes.

Because Halloween involves children out, after dark, Tyndall said it’s important to take precautions.

“Check candy to make sure it is sealed,” said Tyndall. He said any treat should be wrapped and not show any signs that it has been tampered with.

Tyndall also said it’s a good idea to carry a flashlight and be mindful of traffic.
“Be particularly careful,” said Tyndall. “Wear light-colored clothing so it can be seen more easily.”

Tyndall said one way to avoid risks is to go to organized events with people you know or Halloween parties where you more comfortable it’s a safe environment. He said a church event is a good example of a structured activity on Halloween.
Tyndall also said it’s never a good idea to go into the home of a person you do not know. “Don’t step inside,” he said.

Tyndall said in years past Halloween nights have gone smoothly without major incidents. He also said that anyone who needs assistance, or has a concern, should contact the West Columbia Police Department.

“There could be a criminal element out there on Halloween,” said Tyndall. “If you feel threatened, we’re here to respond.”

Tyndall also warned that a new product being marketed now includes gummy-made candy that contains CBD oil. He said that product is not meant for children. So be sure a child is not given candy that is laced with any type of substance not meant for children.

SafeKids.org image

Tips for Halloween Safety from SafeKids.org

  • Carry glow sticks or flashlights, use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and bags, and wear light colors to help kids see and be seen by drivers.
  • Accompany kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating.
  • Slow down and be alert! Kids are excited on Halloween and may dart into the street. Turn on headlights early in the day to spot kids from further away.
  • Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Choose face paint over masks when possible. Masks can limit children’s vision.

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