VALDOSTA – The Valdosta Police Department and Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office have announced that the city and county annual trick-or-treating festivities will take place 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Valdosta-Lowndes youth are a part of an estimated 41 million children — ages 5 to 14 — across the United States who could potentially be out trick-or-treating, officials said in a statement, adding firefighter and police officer costumes remain as two of the top picks for trick-or-treaters.

To ensure the traditional evening is both safe and enjoyable for residents, extra police patrol will be scheduled during trick-or-treating hours, officials said. Both the police department and sheriff’s office offer advice and safety tips for families and their children who will be out in the neighborhoods trick-or-treating Saturday evening:

– Motorists should exercise extreme caution when driving vehicles in residential communities. Be on alert for excited children, whose vision may be obscured by masks.

– Parents who are driving and parking in or near neighborhoods should obey all traffic signs, park safely off the road shoulder of major roads and not block the entrances to neighborhoods or private driveways.

– Children should walk in pairs, and always stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, then they should walk on the edge of yards, and as a last resort on the edge of the road.

​– Adults should accompany children, especially those younger than the age 12 and ensure that older children trick-or-treat with friends and not by themselves.

– Apply reflective tape to children’s costumes or use glow sticks to increase visibility. Adults should pin a slip of paper on children’s costumes or inside a pocket with their phone number, in case he or she gets separated from the group.

– Parents should map out a safe route with their children, instruct them to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on and set a time limit for "trick-or-treating" activities.

– Try makeup instead of a Halloween mask. Halloween masks can be hot and uncomfortable, and they can obstruct a child's vision — which can be dangerous when crossing streets and walking up and down steps.

– ​Adults should inspect treats before children are allowed to eat them. Throw out unwrapped or unpackaged candy. Remember, children who eat a meal before they trick-or-treat may be less likely to eat the candy before an adult can approve it.

For more information, contact the Valdosta Police Department at (229) 293-3104 or the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 671-2900.

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