---- — ALBANY — Halloween is lots of fun, but there can be hazards, too.
To maximize safety for trick-or-treaters, says the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region, plan a route ahead of time. Adults need to know where their older children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany the little ones as they walk through the neighborhood.
If Hurricane Sandy hits as expected, trick-or-treating could get a little more complicated — or certainly a little more wet. Families should take extra care to see that their children are safe.
Here are some other safety tips:
▶ Because a lot of trick-or-treating happens at dusk or after dark, add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
▶ Use flame-resistant costumes.
▶ Use face makeup instead of masks, which can cover children’s eyes and make it hard to see.
▶ Make sure trick-or-treaters have a flashlight.
▶ Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door — never go inside.
▶ Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
▶ Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner.
▶ Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
▶ Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.
For those expecting trick-or-treaters at their door:
▶ Make sure the outdoor lights are on.
▶ Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.
▶ Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
▶ Restrain pets.
▶ Use a glow stick instead of a candle in jack-o-lanterns to avoid a fire hazard.
For more information, visit: www.redcross.org.
Also, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services reminds parents that they can use Facebook to access information about medium- and high-risk sex offenders living in their community before the kids head out to trick-or-treat. Go to www.facebook.com/nyspublicsafety.
The agency launched the Facebook application in time for Halloween last year as a way to make registry information more readily accessible. To access it via a mobile device, visit www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor.