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

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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.

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