All treats, no tricks: Tips for a safe Halloween

4-year-old Mary Powell exchanges some of her Halloween candy for a toy at the Kool Smiles office in Columbia Friday.

Trick-or-treat is around the corner. Ghost, superhero or scary monster, whatever your child wants to dress up as this year we want to make sure your child stays safe.

Charleston Police are offering tips to stay safe this Halloween weekend.  Trick-or-Treating should done at reasonable hours, but must stop at 10:00 p.m. per Charleston City ordinance.

People over 16 years old may not wear a mask in public, and even that is ONLY allowed for actual Trick-or-Treat activities. If attending a late night or costume party, people must wait until they arrive to put on any masks.

Tips for trick-or-treaters

  • Carry a flashlight with you for visibility.
  • Always stay in a group with an adult!
  • Never enter a stranger’s house or car for a treat!
  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the grass away from the street.
  • Don’t criss-cross the street. Go to all the houses on one side of the street, then cross and go back.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street and if you are wearing a mask take it off.
  • Wait until an adult can check your candy before you eat any of it.
  • Only accept treats from neighbors or friends you know!

Tips for parents

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective! Consider adding more reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Always carry flashlights.
  • Masks can limit or block eyesight, consider makeup or cut the mask eyeholes bigger so they can see. Remind children to remove their masks to cross the street!
  • We recommend that children do not use props like guns, knives, or swords. However, if they are used, make sure they don’t look too real!
  • Clear hazards from your property. Remove obstacles such as flower pots and garden hoses, so children won’t trip on them rushing from house to house.
  • Remind your children not to eat the candy until an adult has checked their treats!
  • Your child’s school may be having a Halloween party. Call the School and ask.
  • For older children, Please explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism.

Tips for businesses & motorists

  • Place a “NO MASKS” sign on your business door in case a person forgets
  •  Heighten your awareness and be cautious of purchases that may have the potential to cause personal injury or property damage – such as paint ball guns or large quantities of eggs.
  • Drive slowly and cautiously through your neighborhoods. Remember children may not look before crossing the street.
  • Please report any suspicious activity immediately (743-7200).
  • As always in an emergency call 911.



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