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Supe Urges Parents To Exercise Caution On Halloween

Kids and parents are encouraged to be aware of dangerous conditions due to Hurricane Sandy; Long Island Aquarium offers free event for kids.

Two days after Hurricane Sandy, anxious tiny ghosts and goblins, princesses and pint-sized action figures can breathe a sigh of relief -- Halloween is still going strong in Riverhead.

However, on Wednesday, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter warned trick-or-treaters to safe as they headed out to gather their loot. 

"There are still numerous downed power lines, trees and telephone poles hanging by a thread across Riverhead," Walter said. "Those children walking neighborhoods in costumes often with poor visibility, and especially their parents, need to be mindful of the dangers that lurk in the night." 

Walter added, "Obviously it is up to each individual and to every parent, but children might just have a better and safer time at Halloween house parties than they will negotiating the minefields and obstacle courses of hazards they will face going from house to house."

Riverhead Councilman John Dunleavy agreed: "I've spent a lifetime working with Riverhead's kids and I care about their safety."

Should children go trick-or-treating, Walter offered some safety tips. All children, he said, should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. 

Kids should not go trick-or-treating in neighborhoods without power; no Halloween activities are advised on secondary roadways where hazards remain unresolved.

If police, highway, or department of public works crews have placed barricades to detour traffic, no one should pass those barricades on foot.

In addition, children should not trick-or-treat after dark, Walter said; the ability to see dangerous hazards including downed power lines is affected after sunset.

"While it is a parental decision, I would suggest that the danger of being out with exposed wires and falling branches outweigh any benefits of trick-or-treating," Walter said.   "We don't want any child endangered in search of candy and Halloween fun. Be alert. Stay safe. Be smart," he said.

With an eye toward giving kids a fun-filled Halloween despite Hurricane Sandy's wrath, the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center re-opens for business Wednesday -- and offers free admission to all kids who might otherwise be unable to celebrate Halloween.

Kids ages three to 12 are invited to the Aquarium for candy and, if in costume, will be given free admission when accompanied by a paying adult.

“We want to acknowledge the difficulties of the past few days and to the swift recovery of our Long Island community,” owner Joe Petrocelli said. “Offering free admission on a day that kids might not otherwise be able to celebrate is just a small way of saying ‘we are all in this together.’”

For more information, about the Halloween event, call 631-208.-200, ext. H2O (426). 

The Suffolk County Police Department is also advising, due to the harsh effect of Hurricane Sandy, that parents use common sense and take precautions when taking kids trick-or-treating.

With scores of downed trees and live wires, as well as flooding conditions in many areas, county police suggest keeping kids home for indoor celebrations, as traditional trick-or-treating may be unsafe.  

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