As Halloween swiftly approaches, county officials are doing their part to encourage a safe environment for trick-or-treaters.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office suggested the following:
- Make sure children are dressed safely in flame-retardant costumes and not wearing masks that obstruct vision.
- Adults should accompany young trick-or-treaters.
- Never go inside a home to accept treats, unless you know the person.
- Target homes and blocks with which you are familiar for trick or treating.
- Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
These tips came after the department decided to keep a sharp eye on sex offenders during Halloween festivities. Since 2010, sex offenders living in Cook County have been required to check in with detectives and comply with random checks at their homes.
The sheriff isn't alone in promoting Halloween safety. Cook County Health and Hospitals System offered some additional pointers about staying healthy:
- Take a break from sugary substances and give your trick-or-treaters low-calorie treats instead.
- Use trick-or-treating and party games as an opportunity for kids to get some exercise.
- Walking paths should be well-lit and free of obstacles.
- Jack o'lanterns and anything else lit by a candle should be kept on a sturdy table away from doorsteps, walkways and curtains.
- Drivers should stay safe and watch out for trick-or-treaters.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also recommend that people avoid wearing colored contact lenses as part of a costume. Officials said they could cause scratches, infection and even blindness without a proper fitting.
Since there's a chance of rain Thursday, trick-or-treaters might want to carry an umbrella. They should also be mindful while walking to avoid slipping in puddles.