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Sheriff’s office offers tips for a safe Halloween

Bladen County Sheriff's DepartmentHalloween will be at the end of October, which means lots of children dressed as ghosts, goblins, witches and many other characters will be out trick-or-treating on that night.

“Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun,” Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker said. “Halloween is a fun time in Bladen County, but let’s make it a safe time as well.”

Here are a few safety reminders:

** Motorists should watch for children darting out from behind parked cars and watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

** Parents are reminded to check the sex offender registry at when planning your child’s route. You can view maps that pinpoint registered offenders’ addresses in your neighborhood and sign up to get email alerts when an offender moves nearby.

** An adult or older responsible youth should be supervising children under age 12.

** Children should stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit and should never enter a stranger’s home.

** Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and telephone number inside a pocket in case the child gets separated from the group.

** Costumes should be made from fire-retardant materials, should be loose and not so long that it would be a tripping hazard for the child. If trick-or-treating after dark, costumes should be of light-colored material and have strips of reflective tape.

** Face designs or masks should not obstruct a child’s vision and allow for proper breathing.

** Accessories such as knives or swords should be made from cardboard or flexible material.

** Flashlights with fresh batteries should be carried.

** Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped, or has a strange odor, color or texture.

** Homeowners are reminded to keep candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.

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