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Tips for a safe Halloween

Tribune Staff • Oct 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Soon our streets and sidewalks will be scattered with children trick-or-treating this Halloween, with many festivities beginning this weekend.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office gives the following safety tips:

• Dress in safe, visible costumes: Children’s costumes and masks should not be restrictive. The masks should have adequate holes for breathing and provide wide openings for peripheral vision. Kids should wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight or glow sticks.

• Take a photo: In the event of an emergency, up-to-date photos of your children plus photos of them in their costumes will be important.

• Enroll in Smart911: If you are an Ottawa County resident, you can visit Smart911.com to set up a profile. You can add valuable information about your entire family that will display automatically on the 911 operator's screen should you ever need to call. You can include photos, medical conditions, pets, bedroom locations and more.

• Use the buddy system: Accompany young children and stay within close range at all times. Walk with your children to each house and wait near the porch or front entrance of the home until they return. Older children should travel in pairs or groups avoiding dark houses. Parents should know who their older children are with and the route that they are following.

• Look both ways: Pedestrians should use sidewalks and crosswalks where available, being extremely cautious to look for traffic. Drivers on Halloween should take it slow and be alert and aware.

• Wait to eat treats: Children should save their candy until they return home so an adult can inspect it. Discard anything unwrapped or suspicious. If your child does become ill, call your doctor or the hospital emergency room immediately and save all wrappers.

• Use candles with care: Keep flammable items, such as jack-o-lanterns, away from small children and flammable materials such as draperies, furniture and paper decorations. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

• Don't drink & drive: Adults who are celebrating with alcohol should designate a sober driver.

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