Adrian Segura, 4, of Bradenton participated in the annual tradition of Trunk or Treat at Harvest United Methodist Church in Lakewood Ranch. Photo by Thomas Bender.

Don’t get spooked, here’s some tips for a safe Halloween

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office wants every child to have a safe and fun Halloween, and Sheriff Tim Knight offers these safety reminders:

  • Always trick-or-treat in groups.
  • Never allow small children to visit a door without a trusted adult present.
  • Remind children to never go inside someone’s home for candy.
  • Teach children not to approach cars.
  • Only approach well-lit homes where porch or exterior lights are on.
  • Cross streets at the corner, never between parked cars and not diagonally across an intersection.
  • Avoid taking shortcuts through backyards, alleys, and parks.
  • Make sure at least one child has a cellphone and that emergency numbers are programmed and easy to access.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats and never eat anything homemade from strangers.
  • Examine all candy for choking hazards and tampering before allowing children to have any.
  • Be cautious around pets and other animals.
  • Take a photo of children in their costumes before trick or treating; this will help law enforcement should your child become separated.
  • Keep costumes short to prevent children from tripping or falling.
  • Make sure masks or head coverings do not hinder eyesight or breathing.
  • Try to wear light-colored costumes or add reflective tape to dark clothing.
  • Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen.
  • Report any and all suspicious activity or persons to law enforcement immediately.

The Sheriff’s Office also advises people to keep their doors locked — even if they are just outside handing out candy — to prevent burglaries. Burglars may use trick or treating as a way to scope out a home, the Sheriff’s Office says, be mindful of what is visible from outside when you open your door.

Attending a public, organized event is another way to ensure a safe Halloween, the Sheriff’s Office says. “Instead of visiting unfamiliar neighborhoods, consider Halloween or fall festivals at malls, churches, or events sponsored by local businesses.”

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