MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Authorities across South Florida are urging trick-or-treaters and their parents to take the appropriate safety precautions before heading out to collect candy on Thursday evening.

Here are some tips offered by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to ensure a happy and safe Halloween:

    • • Make sure that children are always accompanied by an adult: There’s no substitute for direct and constant safety supervision.
    • • Plan your trick-or-treating so that your route is completed before dark.
    • • If you must trick-or-treat after dark, help assure that everyone can be seen by using flashlights or glow sticks.
    • • Never use candles or lanterns with open flames.
    • • Be traffic alert: Stay on sidewalks, walk facing traffic and cross streets only at intersections.
    • • If you are driving Halloween night, be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters. Use extreme caution and drive slowly.
    • • Trick-or-treat in a group and stay together: Only approach houses that have outside lights on. Be alert of your surroundings and trick-or-treat in familiar, well-lit areas.
    • • Make sure that everyone can easily be seen in low light: Apply stripes of reflective tape across the front and the back of children’s costumes and adults’ clothing, and wear costumes that are brightly colored.
    • • Costumes should be completely flame-retardant: This includes wigs, beards and capes.
    • • Safety first: Avoid masks that restrict a child’s view or make it difficult to breathe.
    • • Make sure that costumes fit properly: Loose or long costumes may cause children to trip over or catch on things such as bushes and fences.
    • • Do not allow children to carry any sharp objects: Use props that are pliable and soft in order to avoid injury.
    • • Make sure that trick-or-treaters always have one hand free so they can catch themselves if they fall. Use treat bags that can be carried over one shoulder instead of in both hands.
    • • Children should never eat any treats until an adult has inspected all the candy: Throw away any homemade treats or anything that’s not in a sealed wrapper.
    • • For a much safer alternative, consider taking children to a Halloween party or attend a well-planned, local event instead of trick-or-treating door-to-door.
      • • If your child suffers from any food allergies, check the packaging for contents that may be adverse to his/her health.

As is mentioned on the list above, always accompany your children and plan your route accordingly.

Also, you may be wondering if there are any sex offenders along your trick-or-treating route. You can always check by clicking here. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) keeps an updated database with this information.

Our state has more than 30,000 registered sex offenders who are required to register their permanent addresses with law enforcement.