Here are some tips from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office to make sure all those little ghosts and goblins enjoy a safe Halloween:
Be sure that at least one adult accompanies children at all times, with a definite route and timetable set before leaving for trick-or-treating. If you're going door-to-door, select a route that has adequate street lighting.
Try to complete the route before dark. If darkness falls and a few more houses are beckoning, have a flashlight or chemical glow stick handy, but never candles or torches.
Approach only those houses with outside lights on. Not only are youngsters safer in a well-lighted place, but they also may be more welcome. Often homeowners who don't wish to participate in the trick-or-treat ritual leave porch lights off as a signal. Respect their wishes and go on to the next home.
Remember common-sense traffic rules: Stay on sidewalks, walk facing traffic, obey all traffic signals and cross streets only at intersections or crosswalks.
Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Place reflective tape on both the front and back of each costume and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
Use makeup on children's faces rather than allowing them to wear masks, which are hard to see through and can make breathing difficult.
Be certain that all parts of costumes are flame-retardant, including wigs, beards and capes.
The costume should fit well so that the child can't snag the costume or trip, causing injury. It's a good idea to carry along a small first aid kit for scraped knees or other minor injuries. Costumes should be appropriate for the weather so that trick-or-treaters stay warm, dry and comfortable.
Be certain that no treats are eaten until an adult inspects them, discarding any unwrapped or suspicious-looking items.
Trick-or-treat bags should hang from children's shoulders so that hands are free.
Consider having a Halloween party at home or attend a civic group's well-planned haunted house or a merchant association's shopping mall or downtown district party. Each year more safety-conscious groups have Halloween events planned for youngsters to give them an alternative to trick-or-treating house-to-house.