Sheriff Leon Lott's Halloween safety tips

Halloween is a special occasion for our children. Dressing up in costumes, playing games and, of course, trick or treating are events children will have cherished memories of for a lifetime.

But without adult supervision, Halloween can also be dangerous. For this reason, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott would like to remind our adults and children of some very basic, yet very necessary precautions that need to be taken during this upcoming Halloween.

  • Children should always trick or treat with an adult or older sibling. Never go alone.
  • Stay in your neighborhood and only go to homes you are familiar with.
  • Stay out of the road as much as possible and always walk facing traffic.
  • Children should wear costumes that don’t restrict their movements or limit their vision.
  • Costumes should allow children to easily see and move about freely.
  • Costumes should also fit properly so there isn’t a risk of children tripping over them.
  • Carry a flashlight or some other type of illuminating device and wear something reflective so cars can see you.
  • Parents should check all treats before the child eats them.
  • Do not accept anything from anyone in a vehicle.
  • Turn on porch lights and yard lights if you're giving candy. Children should not be allowed to visit homes where no lights are on. Most people who have candy available will turn on their exterior lights as a sign that children are welcome.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office adds:

  • Give children an early meal before going out.
  • Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
  • Know the names of older children's companions.
  • Establish a return time.
  • Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.

Officials also suggest that many churches and civic groups sponsor festivals at Halloween. They provide games and other activities for children in an environment that is safe and controlled. Some of these events are listed on wistv.com>>

WIS has also collected some safety tips for drivers during the holiday:

  • Don't use a cell phone while driving through neighborhoods.
  • Drive well below the posted speed limits during trick-or-treating hours (typically 5:00pm to 9:00pm)
  • Be aware that children will be entering and exiting vehicles frequently.
  • Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway.
  • Be especially alert for small children and children in dark, non-reflective clothing.
  • Never assume a pedestrian approaching the roadway will yield to your vehicle.

Updated 10:05pm by Bryce Mursch