Halloween tips to keep your kids safe

Halloween is just around the corner and many parents are thinking about safety.

There are several safety tips to keep in mind ahead of Halloween weekend. Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd suggests adults always accompany children, wear reflective clothing and sort through your kids' candy. He issued the following recommendations:

Remember, when designing your children's costumes that face paint is preferable to a mask. Masks should have adequate holes for proper respiration and peripheral vision. All trick-or-treaters should wear some sort of reflective clothing, carry a bright orange bag, and carry a flashlight or glow stick to make it easier for passing cars to spot them while they walk on the sidewalk or left side of the road facing traffic.

An adult should always accompany young children. A parent or older child should stay within close range at all times; and, never let the children go down a street by themselves. Walk with the children to each house and wait in the driveway or by the door until the children return.

Older children should travel in pairs or in groups at all times while trick-or-treating and should never venture down a dark, empty side street. Parents should know the route their children are following. Children should always walk together to the front door of each house and never run across the street or across the yard. Dark, unlighted houses should be avoided.

Tell your children to save all their candy until they get home. You should closely inspect all candy. Throw away all unwrapped candy or any suspicious-looking goodies. If your child does get sick, try to determine what he or she had eaten and where it came from. Call your doctor or the hospital emergency room immediately and save all wrappers.

Also, remember that your jack-o-lantern and any other electrical decorations can be a fire hazard. Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from flammables such as draperies, furniture, and paper decorations. Do not leave your house unattended.

Something else local law enforcement officials will be doing to keep you safe this Halloween weekend are the annual Pumpkin Patrols. It's a statewide annual effort aimed at preventing dangerous Halloween pranks and protecting drivers on the Thruway.

Police will also be out in full force looking for drunk drivers, speeders and aggressive drivers, and they'll be conducting seat belt checks.