COLUMBIA - Halloween is right around the corner, and the Columbia Police Department is offering safety tips for trick-or-treaters during the holiday.
Officer Latisha Stroer said it's best for kids to plan their route ahead of time and to only go to familiar neighborhoods. If dressed up, kids should always wear some clear form of identification so they don't get lost and travel in groups with an adult.
When walking around on Halloween remember basic road safety. Stroer recommends kids walk on the sidewalk and are aware of their surroundings. Although cutting through backyards might look like a short cut, stay out of strangers' backyards. When crossing driveways, look both ways and make sure someone is not backing out or pulling in. When it comes to crossing the street only cross at intersections and designated crosswalks.
If you're out trick-or-treating when the sun sets, make sure to always carry a flashlight and extra batteries.
With jack-o-lanterns lit up, remember to avoid open flames and if your costume does catch on fire, remember to stop, drop, and roll.
Once home, kids should always have their parents inpsect candy before eating it to make sure nothing was tampered with and always avoid candy that has a tattered wrapper. If at any point during your trick-or-treating trip you see suspicious activity, never hesitate to call 911.