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Police offer Halloween safety tips ahead of weekend trick-or-treating


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Trick or treating starts this weekend in parts of Central Wisconsin, and local police are offering reminders to help keep kids safe while they're out hunting candy.

Kids heading out to trick or treat should not be alone in their travels. Marathon County sheriff's Lieutenant Mark Wagers says there's safety in numbers, especially in rural areas. "Make sure that everyone stays together, and make sure that kids aren't out by themselves. Make sure they're always escorted by an adult or an older sibling that's able to properly care for them." Kids should be wearing something can reflect in the dark and make sure to keep to the sides of roads or sidewalks where available.

Wagers says parents should keep thinking about safety when they're moving herds of kids from block to block in vehicles. "You need to make sure everyone is seatbelted in when the vehicle is in motion and make sure you park in a safe place."

Safety continues once kids are back home with their candy haul. While he's not too worried about tampering with food, Wagers says people should be aware of food allergies before letting kids eat their treats. "You have to make sure you know your kids food allergies to make sure they're not getting something they're not supposed to have, like peanut allergies, things of that nature." He says it's safer to stick to pre-packaged candy, and inspect all homemade goods or fruits.

Finally, Wagers offers a word of caution to would be hooligans. "If anyone is caught vandalizing something or littering or things of that nature, they will be cited and/or arrested depending on the severity of the vandalism."

You can get a complete listing of trick or treating times online at http://wsau.com/screams/