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Police stress Halloween safety

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Local police are encouraging trick-or-treaters to make smart choices to stay safe this Halloween.

Adults should accompany and supervise children while trick-or-treating Wednesday evening, police said.

“It should be a fun time for both parents and children,” Sycamore police Lt. Darrell Johnson said.

When going from house to house, trick-or-treaters should remain on sidewalks, on crosswalks when crossing streets and be aware of cars. Sticking with a group is recommended.

“It’s always best to be in groups, walk in numbers, so you’re not alone,” said DeKalb police Lt. Carl Leoni, adding that children should say no to strangers and never take rides from anyone they don’t know.

Johnson said children should stick to family neighborhoods and houses, and treat houses and lawns with respect when passing through.

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said children should remember the general areas where they go trick-or-treating, in case something goes wrong and police need details.

Leoni said trick-or-treaters should try friendly-looking homes with illuminated lights or holiday decorations, and avoid approaching dark homes.

Children should not go inside a house to get candy, Scott said.

Johnson said trick-or-treaters should not use dangerous props or real weapons as part of their costumes. Foam, cardboard or plastic props are best. He also recommended children wear flame-retardant costumes.

Leoni said face paint is a good alternative to masks for children, because masks can restrict vision or hearing. Trick-or-treaters should dress to remain visible to others in the dark, wearing bright-colored costumes or carrying glow sticks or flashlights, Scott said.

Once children return home, parents should check their child’s candy and make sure treats are packaged appropriately, police said.

“Ensure things are safe before the mass consuming begins,” Johnson said.

Homemade items should be treated with caution, he said. Scott said unwrapped items should be thrown away.

Those passing out candy should shut off porch lights once trick-or-treating hours have ended, police said.

Wednesday’s trick-or-treating hours

Cortland: 4 to 8 p.m.

DeKalb: 4 to 8 p.m.

Genoa: 4 to 7 p.m.

Hinckley: 4 to 8 p.m.

Kingston: 4 to 8 p.m.

Kirkland: 4 to 8 p.m.

Malta: 4 to 8 p.m.

Maple Park: 4 to 7 p.m.

Sandwich: 4 to 7 p.m.

Shabbona: 4 to 7 p.m.

Somonauk: 4 to 7 p.m.

Sycamore: 4 to 8 p.m.

Waterman: 4 to 8 p.m.

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