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Statesboro Police offer safety tips for Halloween
    The "official" trick-or-treating event throughout the Statesboro community will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, said Statesboro Police Capt. Wendell Turner.
    While Halloween is always Oct. 31, some communities reschedule trick-or-treating when the holiday falls during the week, taking costumed kids door-to-door for treats on the weekend before or afterward.
     However, since the holiday falls on Friday this year, the Halloween tradition will be observed on the actual day it is meant to be celebrated, he said.
    Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel said the county doesn't designate any certain hours for trick-or-treating, and said he figured Halloween night, regardless of  the day upon which it falls, would be when kids go out in costume and seek candy from neighboring homes.
    Regardless of what time trick-or-treaters venture out, both he and Turner said they hope everyone follows safety rules and has a good time.
    Turner offered several safety tips for trick-or-treaters. The main thing, he said, is "be safe."
    Costumes should include some sort of reflective clothing, if only strips of reflective tape, he said. Masks are not a good idea, as they can obstruct the view; Turner recommended face paint or other costume selections. Masks and costumes that drag the ground could cause a child to trip and fall, he said.
    All children who go trick-or-treating should be accompanied by an adult, he said.  Also, anyone venturing out Friday night for trick-or-treating should "go to areas they know. Don't venture outside the neighborhood," he advised.
    Parents should inspect all candy taken during the night out to ensure it is not spoiled, unwrapped or possibly tainted or tampered with, McDaniel  said.
    Homes that are not decorated for Halloween or that have lights turned out should be avoided, he said, stating some citizens with outside lights turned out may not be home or may not welcome visitors for various reasons.
    "There are plenty of other people who will have lights on and be participating," he said.
    Homeowners who do not wish to participate in trick-or-treating should indicate that desire by leaving outside lights off during the event hours.
     Also, pet owners should keep animals inside, and isolated from the steady stream of visitors in strange costumes should trick-or-treaters be welcomed, said Georgia Veterinary Medical Association spokesman Dr. Kevin Chapman.
    "All pets, unless extremely social, should be kept in a separate room during prime trick-or-treat hours," he said. "Too many strangers may be scary and stressful for pets."
    Pet owners should also make sure their dogs and cats cannot access candy  treats, especially chocolate, he said.
    "Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine, a bitter, caffeine-related ingredient, which could cause illness in dogs," he said. "Dogs are vulnerable to a theobromine-caused condition called chocolate toxicosis, which could cause fatality within hours. "
    McDaniel reminded citizens to follow the law, as some who roam the streets on  "fright night" take the trick part of trick-or-treating too seriously.
    "Behave, be good and have a good time," he said.
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