COLUMBIA — Halloween is just around the corner, the time of year when children take to the streets for some Halloween fun. The American Red Cross has some safety tips to help stay safe this Halloween while enjoying the festivities.

“The Red Cross wants Halloween to be a fun night for everyone,” said Rebecca Jordan, executive director for the Red Cross of Central SC. “Safety should be a priority for parents as they get their children ready for Halloween.”

Safety tips for trick-or-treaters

1. Use only flame-resistant costumes.

2. Plan the trick-or-treat route – make sure adults know where children are going.

3. Have a parent or responsible adult accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.

4. Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give them a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to help be seen.

5. Instead of masks which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, use face paint instead.

6. Be cautious around animals.

7. Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.

8. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.

9. Make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

10. Drivers – use extra caution. The youngsters are excited and may forget to look both ways before crossing.

Tips for welcoming children on Halloween

People who are planning on welcoming trick-or-treaters to their home should follow these safety steps:

• Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.

• Clear the porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.

• Restrain pets.

• Light the area well so the young visitors can see where they are going.

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