WEST NEWBURY — Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen, Merrimac Police Chief Eric Shears and West Newbury Police Chief Jeffrey Durand wish to announce that trick-or-treating has been rescheduled in Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury due to inclement weather forecasts.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a 70% chance of rain Thursday night as well as fog and a south wind ranging from 11-15 miles per hour in Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury. By Friday, wind gusts are being predicted to reach as high as 32 miles per hour.
“Rain and fog pose a danger to pedestrians at any time of year, but with meteorologists forecasting those conditions tomorrow night, we felt it was imperative to reschedule so that those trick-or-treating aren’t at risk because of poor driving visibility,” West Newbury Police Chief Jeffery Durand said.
Trick-or-treating activities in each town have been rescheduled to take place on Saturday, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., instead of Thursday, Oct. 31.
“Public safety and town officials from Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury did not make this decision lightly, but we’ve discussed the forecast at length and have decided to reschedule trick-or-treating activities to ensure residents are safe,” Merrimac Police Chief Shears said. “We thank everyone for their understanding, and wish everyone a fun-filled weekend.”
“Fortunately, Saturday’s weather is being predicted to offer far better trick-or-treating conditions, and we encourage residents to stay safe and enjoy the festivities,” Groveland Police Chief Gillen said. “As always, if you have any safety questions or concerns, call the police department.”
The Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury Police Departments also recommend that residents follow safety tips while trick-or-treating outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls. Consider adding reflective tape to kids’ costumes and bags to help drivers see them.
- If temperatures are cold during trick-or-treating time, be sure to have your kids wear long sleeves and warm clothing under their costume.
- If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly. Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as a safer alternative to masks. Always test make-up in a small area of skin first and always remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
- When shopping for costume pieces, look for and purchase ones that are labeled as flame retardant.
- Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible. A child may be easily hurt by accessories if he or she stumbles or trips.
- Children under 12 should always be accompanied by an adult. Avoid trick-or-treating alone.
- If your older children are going out without parental supervision, go over ground rules first and set a curfew. Have them travel in a group, with a cell phone and flashlight. Make sure children know how to call 911 if they have an emergency.
- Pedestrian injuries are very common on Halloween. Remind kids to stay in a group. They should walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Crosswalks should be used whenever possible and children should always look both ways before crossing the street.
- Only go to homes with a porch light on. Never go into a home or car for a treat.
- Examine all of your kids’ treats for choking hazards and tampering. Do not eat treats that have been opened, even partially. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Keeping Your Home Safe for Trick-or-Treaters
- Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your front door.
- Keep all decorations like cornstalks and hay away from heat sources and lit candles.
- Use battery-operated tea lights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns.
- Remember to put matches and lighters away in a high, locked cabinet so children cannot access them or be tempted to relight jack-o-lanterns by themselves.
As always, any suspicious person or vehicle should immediately be reported to police by dialing 911.