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Yup... it's that time of the year again.  In a very short time your neighborhood will soon be crawling with young ghosts, goblins, a gaggle of transformers, and just about every other costumed character you can imagine.  And they'll all be on the prowl for bubble gum, candy, and all of the sweet treats that will keep our local dentist's waiting rooms packed for months to come! 

Sheriff Demings wants everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween and to help make that happen, he offers you some basic Halloween and Trick-or-Treating safety tips.

 

1.  Never allow your young children to trick-or-treat alone.  There's safety in numbers and they'll be a lot spookier if they travel in a pack with several of their friends.  They should always be accompanied by a responsible adult.

2.  Plan a safe route in an area that is known to you.  Out at night?  Carry a light or one of those nifty chemical glow sticks.  Never, ever, carry anything illuminated by an open flame or allow your children to walk near an fire or device illuminated by an open flame.

3.  Make sure your kids can see and that they can be seen.  Lighter colored costumes area easier for motorists to see at night.  Extra points if you add some reflective tape to that costume.  Make sure your child can easily see out of his or her mask so they won't trip over curbs or objects that can't be easily seen in the dark.

4.  Is your child's costume flame resistant?  It should be.

5.  Use safe pedestrian practices.  Stay on main walkways and, when at all possible, on well lit sidewalks.  Cross Streets at intersections and walk out into the street between parked cars.

6.  NEVER, EVER allow your child to enter a stranger's home or vehicle.  It is always best and safest to do your trick-or-treating in your neighborhood.  Avoid approaching homes that are dark or that appear to be unoccupied.

7.  Will your child's costume incorporate simulated knives, swords, or similar accessories?  Be sure they are not sharp and that they are made of flexible materials.

8.  Inspect ALL treats before allowing your child to eat them!  Any item that is not factory wrapped or appears to have been rewrapped should be discarded.  Home made treats should not be eaten unless the source of those items is well known to you.  If something seems suspicious to you, throw it out.  If you find an item that has been tampered with or was intended to harm someone notify law enforcement.

9.  Make sure your home is safe to receive trick-or-treaters.  Roll up those garden hoses and put your sprinklers away.  Turn on that porch light and be sure to remove any clutter or items that might be hazardous to youngsters who come to your door.

10.  Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.

11.  Consider an organized neighborhood party or Halloween event for the youngsters in your community.  They can be a lot more fun than a long door-to-door trek and much safer too.

12.  And a reminder for our adults...if a Halloween party is in your plans please be responsible.  If the consumption of alcohol will be part of your evening please plan ahead a assign a designated driver for your group.  Halloween falls on a weekend this year (Friday) which means there will be a lot of young trick-or-treaters out and about so please drive carefully and responsibly.  If you get caught for drinking and driving, you will go to jail.  And we can guarantee that jail is the scariest place you can be!