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Be safe this Halloween

Lawton_Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Little ghouls and goblins, witches and wizards are out in full force tonight.  Youngsters will be hitting the streets in search of something sweet.  But, are they as safe as they could be?  How can you make sure your little monsters stay safe this holday?

Most kids are getting ready for some candy collecting fun.  But, for some, it could be a dangerous night too.  Khalid is getting ready for Halloween - and he'll have his grandmother Lester Mae to look after him.  She says all parents should be doing the same.  "It's not too safe.  I wouldn't trust my grandkids, or any of my neighbor's kids, to go alone, by themselves, not anymore," she says.

That's because there are so many kids and cars on the streets tonight.  One of the biggest problems facing trick or treaters this year is traffic.  Especially when they're wearing masks that block their peripheral vision - they can't see traffic coming from either side.  And, that could lead to a nasty accident.

Lawton Police Department Master Officer Charles Whittington says regardless of what they wear - they should not go alone.  "Parents should go with them definitely.  Parents should be out there, they should have a set route and a time to come home," he says.  This is why the LPD has set a city wide curfew.  "It gives everybody an awareness, so they know at this time to this time to look out for kids trick-or-treating," says Whittington.

It's also important to bring a flashlight or glow stick to be sure drivers can see you.  "A lot of the kids will run out and they get excited about the time of year.  They get to go out and get candy.  They'll run out into traffic prior to looking both ways, they'll dart in between cars," Whittington says.

The next tip may be hard, but everyone agrees that it's a good idea to wait to enjoy all that candy.  "The main thing is to be sure to tell your kids not to eat candy until they bring it home and you check it out," says Whittington.  "If there's any candy or anything that's open prior to, don't eat it, just throw it away.  I'm sure they'll have plenty."

Above all, just use common sense when out and about this year - whether you're out trick or treating with your kids or even if you're just driving through your neighborhood - watch out for little ones.  Here are Halloween tips to help keep your child safe this holiday:

  • Accompany your child while going door to door
  • Carry a flashlight, glow stick or something else reflective
  • Look both ways when crossing the street - and make sure passing cars see you - try to make eye contact before crossing the street
  • Wait until you get home to eat all that candy
  • Read the candy label if possible - one of the most common food allergies is nuts and many candies have trace elements of peanut even if it's not the main ingredient
  • Mind the holiday curfew - round up the goblins a little before eight
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