Florence Co. sheriff gives Halloween safety tips - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence Co. sheriff gives Halloween safety tips

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Halloween is tonight, and as usual, Florence County Sheriff's Office is preparing to be out in force. Our deputies will be patrolling neighborhoods and subdivisions to ensure that everyone has a happy and safe evening. This is traditionally an exciting time for children which can be enjoyable for all. Kids dress up in creative costumes, go out into the community at night and get free candy. What could be better than that? Some will carry wonderful Halloween memories for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, some memories may not be as others, especially if common sense safety rules are not observed. The following are some safety tips that may make your "Trick or Treating" more safe and enjoyable:

FOR KIDS

• Avoid homes of strangers or those who may not be participating in "Trick or Treating" activities. No decorations or lights are a strong clue.

• For young children, a parent or responsible adult should always be within sight.

• Never go into a stranger's house for treats unless your parents are present and tell you it is ok.

• Be careful when crossing the street, and look both ways to make sure no cars are coming. Masks and costumes sometimes restrict vision, and extra attention is required when walking along the road at night.

• For older kids, remember, vandalism is not cool! Throwing eggs, damaging mail boxes and stringing toilet paper is destructive, and someone has to clean it up. If we catch you, that will likely be you.

• Report any suspicious or harmful behavior to a responsible adult or law enforcement.

FOR ADULTS

• Check the FCSO website "Offender Watch" link for Florence County registered sex offenders in your neighborhood or any neighborhood in which your children may "Trick or Treat." Make sure your kids stay away from those houses! While on this link, take the time to sign up for email alerts from "Offender Watch," not just for Halloween, but every day.

• Help your child pick out a costume that is age and safety appropriate. It should be fireproof or treated with fire retardant. Make sure any masks have eye holes large enough for good vision and that any outer clothing won't cause them to trip or fall. Reflective material will also help your child be more visible to motorists.

• If you are not accompanying your child as they "Trick or Treat," make sure you know the route they will travel and set a specific time for them to return.

• Insist that your children not talk to strangers or get into their cars, no matter what. Unfortunately, there are those who would harm children, and the lure of free candy can reduce their suspicion of strangers.

• If your kid's costume includes a prop, such as a knife, pitchfork or other object, make sure the tips are smooth and flexible enough not to cause injury if fallen upon.

• Teach kids to cross the street properly and with due regard to vehicles who may not see them.

• Remind you older children that vandalism and destruction of property, whether at Halloween or any other time, is not only wrong, it is a crime which we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

• Inspect all candy and treats before your child consumes them. Generally, treats and candy sealed from the factory are the safest.

Please help us make this Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for your kids so that they can carry on this tradition with their own family someday.

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