Virginia Beach first responders have 16 tips for safe trick-or-treating

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Trick-or-treating begins at dusk on Halloween. (Justin Belichis/Southside Daily)

Trick-or-treating begins at dusk on Monday, Oc.t 31. (Justin Belichis/Southside Daily)

At dusk on Monday, Oct. 31, it may be hard to recognize the monsters, super heroes and princesses asking for candy at the front door. That’s why Virginia Beach first responders created a list of safety tips for the spooky holiday.

It starts at the front door, according to a release from the Virginia Beach Emergency Response System, which includes the city’s departments of Emergency Communications and Citizen Services and Emergency Medical Services, the police and fire departments and members of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads.

If you’re passing out fun-size Twix and Twizzlers, leave your porch light on, to alert trick-or-treaters that you are, in fact, fun. If you’re not participating, turn your porch light off.

Here are other tips for safe trick-or-treating:

· Wear light-colored clothing that is flame-resistant or flame-retardant and short enough to prevent tripping. Also, add reflectors or glow-in-the-dark safety stickers for better visibility.

· Make sure children can see clearly through their face masks, or use face paint or makeup instead of a mask.

· Carry a lightweight flashlight and a fully charged cell phone, or a personal two-way radio in case of an emergency.

·  Join the fun and go with young children, especially if they’re under the age of eight. If you can’t go with them, have them go with a group of other children. Never let them go alone.

· Watch for traffic and only cross at corners. Don’t cross between parked cars.

· Let your family know ahead of time where you’ll be trick-or-treating and when you expect to be home.

· Stay in your neighborhood and only visit the homes of people you know.

· Use sidewalks to avoid injury. If sidewalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic.

· Have children wait until they get home to eat their goodies, so you can examine their treats before they eat them.

· Give and accept only wrapped or packaged candy.

· An adult should stay home to greet trick-or-treaters.

· Pets can get excited with all the activity, so keep them under control and away from the front door.

· Clear your garage, lawn and walkway of tools, toys and other items.

· Use electric lights or luminary bags to light front walkways.

· Keep candlelit jack-o-lanterns away from areas where costumes could brush up against the flames.

· Most important, tell your child not to go into a stranger’s home, or get into a stranger’s car. Explain the dangers and what to do if someone approaches them and tries to take them.

Trick-or-treating begins at dusk and ends at 8 p.m. for children 12 and under.

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