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Officials issue Halloween warnings for pedestrian safety, drug-laced candy

October 31, 2012
(Times Community…)

Public safety officials have issued a slew of warnings for parents as they prepare to take their children trick-or-treating this Halloween night.

Chief among them: beware of drunk drivers, marijuana-laced candy, and dark streets and alleys.

Halloween is the third busiest night of the year in terms of car and pedestrian accidents and trips to the emergency room, officials reported, adding that 41 million trick-or-treaters are expected to hit the streets tonight nationwide.

Police asked that trick-or-treaters travel in pairs or groups, carry a flashlight, wear costumes that don’t obstruct their vision, watch for cars, and don’t enter the homes of strangers. 

At a joint news conference with Los Angeles police Wednesday, Burbank Capt. Denis Cremins said the city was calm last year, with no Halloween-related accidents – and he hopes to keep it that way.

“That’ll be our primary mission – ensuring kids are safe out there,” Cremins said.

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Officers will be patrolling the streets in full force with a heightened focus on speeding and distracted drivers, said Los Angeles Capt. Jeffrey Bert.

“There’s no costume or mask that’s going to hide drunk driving,” Bert said.

Police also asked that parents inspect every piece of candy a child receives --  if it’s open, spoiled or looks strange, throw it away.

If a piece of candy is suspected to be laced with marijuana, police asked the public to contact local law enforcement.

“It can be poisonous to a small child,” Bert said.

Marijuana-infused candy can be packaged and named like normal candy. For example, look out for “Reefer’s” candy that looks like “Reese’s” peanut butter cups; “Kief Kat” candy that looks like “Kit Kat” bars; “3 Rastateers” bars that look like “3 Musketeers” bars; “Trippy” peanut butter that looks like “Skippy;” and “Loopy Loops” cereal that looks like “Froot Loops.”

The Glendale Fire Department also warned parents to allow children to only wear costumes that are bright, reflective, and that have been labeled as being flame resistant. The department also advised parents review the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll” with their children should their clothes catch on fire.

Residents should also take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on porches and walkways that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house. They should also consider fire safety when decorating, such as keeping Jack O' Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.

-- Alene Tchekmedyian and Jason Wells, Times Community News

Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek

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