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Put safety first at Halloween activities

Thousands of ghouls and goblins will take to the streets this evening in search of sugar. If trick-or-treating is not your favorite Halloween activity, there are several churches hosting fall festivals and trunk or treat events. Candy will be the common denominator no matter which event you choose.

While Halloween is a fun excuse to dress up and binge on the sweet stuff, it can also be a dangerous time for children. Not only are they at risk of getting hit by vehicles while wearing dark costumes that can be hard to see, there also other dangers lurking in the dark.

Unfortunately, there is evil mixed in with the good-natured fun. Attorney General Jim Hood offers the following safety tips for Halloween.

• Take children to familiar neighborhoods and approach only homes with outside lighting.

• Remind children of every day safety rules, such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets, and crossing with the stop light at an intersection when they are trick-or-treating.

• Adults should always accompany small children to caution them against running into streets and across lawns or driveways. Please use sidewalks where available.

• Encourage children to wait until they get home to eat candy so that adults can inspect the goodies.

• Parents should throw away any treats that are not commercially wrapped or appear to be tampered with.

  Choose costumes with light or bright colors whenever possible, or trim a darker costume with reflective tape. Consider also having children carry a flashlight to make sure they can see the walking path and are visible to drivers.