Sheriff Crawford offers tips for Halloween safety

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Halloween is today and soon our streets will be filled with little ghosts, goblins and witches trick-or-treating.

To ensure this Halloween is safe for your children, Osceola County Sheriff Jim Crawford offers the following safety tips:

Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping. Masks should not be too restrictive, with adequate holes for proper respiration and peripheral vision. Consider using cosmetics to create fun or scary faces instead of masks.

Watch costumed children around pets. The pet may not recognize the child and become frightened, especially if the child is using a prop such as a sword or dagger as part of their costume.

Avoid hard plastic or wooden props, opting instead for items made of foam rubber that are soft and flexible.

To help make the child more visible after dark, trick-or-treaters should carry a brightly colored bag and a flashlight or glow stick. Add reflective tape to the sides, front and back of the child's costume.

At all times, watch for traffic and avoid walking in the street whenever possible.

An adult always should accompany young children. A parent should stay within close range of young children at all times and children should never be allowed to go down a street alone. Walk with your children to each house and wait near the porch or front entrance of the home until they return.

Older children should travel in pairs or in groups at all times while trick-or-treating and never venture down a dark, empty street.

Parents should know the route that their children are following. Children should always walk together to the front door of each house and only cross the street at crosswalks.

Dark, unlit homes should be avoided.

Children should save their candy until they get home so parents can inspect it. Discard any unwrapped or suspicious looking goodies. If your child does get sick, call your family doctor or the hospital emergency room immediately and save all wrappers. It also is helpful to determine what he or she ate and which house it came from.

Keep flammable items, such as a jack-o-lantern, away from small children, pets and flammable materials such as draperies, furniture and paper decorations. Never leave a candle burning unattended.

“Halloween is a fun time in Osceola County,” Sheriff Crawford concluded. “Let’s make it a safe time as well.”

For more safety tips, Sheriff Crawford encourages residents to visit the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association website at where you can sign up to receive monthly newsletters. Founded in 1877 the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association is the oldest law enforcement organization in Michigan.