TIFTON — As the Halloween weekend approaches, parents and trick-or-treaters are reminded that, while trick-or-treating should be a fun and safe experience, everyone should be aware of potential hazards.

The Tifton Police Department and the Tift County Sheriff’s Office wish to remind everyone to be safe while out for the holiday.

Children should never go trick-or-treating alone and should be as visible as possible.

All children should be accompanied by a responsible adult, who should have a route planned.

TCSO has OffenderWatch, a sex offender mapping and notification service which allows citizens to avoid those houses when trick-or-treating.

“We do the best we can in making sure sex offenders live where they tell us, so it is crucial that our citizens visit our website to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they are living,” says Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough.

This service can be reached through the TCSO website at www.tiftsheriff.org.

There are also other community events, such as trunk-or-treats or fall festivals, as alternatives to going door-to-door.

Children are reminded to stay with their group and to stay on the planned route. It is safer to walk on the sidewalk or grass than the street, and everyone should cross streets on the corners only and never between parked cars.

Only visit houses with front porch lights on, and never enter a house to get candy.

Carrying flashlights or lanterns are encouraged to increase visibility.

Parents should select costumes made of fire resistant materials, and costumes should be trimmed with reflective tape to allow drivers to easily see children in the dark.

Parents are also encouraged to use face paint or makeup for their children rather than masks, since masks can obstruct vision or air passages.

Make sure costumes are short enough that children won’t trip, and everyone should remember that fake weapons may be plastic or cardboard, but they can still potentially cause injury.

Children should not eat any treats until they get home and parents can examine them. Only consume unopened candies and treats in original wrappers. Anything torn or open should be discarded.

Everyone, regardless of whether they participate in Halloween festivities, is reminded to keep pets inside or in a safe place, and anyone wearing a costume should be careful around all animals, even family pets, who might not recognize them in a costume.

Everyone have a safe and happy Halloween!

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