FCSO: Halloween safety tips for parents and kids

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The Florence County Sheriff's Office has safety in mind this Halloween, and Sheriff Kenny Boone said deputies will be out in force patrolling neighborhoods and subdivisions.

The FCSO wants adults and children to make lasting memories, and smart choices when it comes to safety this Halloween.

The following is a list of safety tips for kids to make trick-or-treating safe and enjoyable.

  • Avoid homes of strangers or those who may not be participating in trick-or-treating activities. Not 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 okay.
  • 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.

The following is a list of safety tips for adults to make trick-or-treating safe and enjoyable:

  • 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, vandalism 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.

The FCSO implores parents and children to make this Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for everyone to carry on the tradition.

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