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Keeping kids and pets safe on Halloween

Tucson Medical Center & Humane Society provide safety tips

While Halloween is to many a harmless holiday full of fun and games there are some dangers: Twice as many children are killed walking on Halloween than any other night of the year.

"When children are out trick-or-treating at night, it’s harder for drivers to see them," Tucson SafeKids coordinator Yomy Diaz said in a press release Tuesday.

Parents should accompany children under the age of 12, and make sure older children and teens stay in a group with flashlights, Diaz said

Some of the organization's other safety tips include: crossing the street at corners not the middle of the block, staying on sidewalks or paths and out of the street, watching out for cars turning and backing out, and making costumes safe with reflectors, reflecting tape, or glow sticks.

The warnings aren’t just for children and parents though. Drivers are reminded to keep in mind that there will be a lot of children out on the streets Wednesday night, and 5:30-9:30 p.m is a popular trick-or-treating time.

Halloween can also cause a lot of stress and potential harm to pets. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona encourages owners to keep their pets at home on the holiday, especially during trick-or-treating hours when there may be strangers in costumes coming to the door.

“The fact that a lot of people coming in and out of houses, and the door bell ringing constantly can really freak animals out,” said Samantha Esquivel, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society.

“Dogs also want to protect their territory, so some ways to keep them calm are to have them in a separate room during trick-or-treating hours or to stand outside when giving out candy so the door bell doesn’t ring.”

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Candy should also not be given to any animals, especially chocolate because it is toxic to dogs, Esquivel said.

She also warned against dressing your pet in a costume unless it fits properly and the animal can breath and see easily. “By all means if your animal is used to dressing in costume or going out a lot, we don’t want to stop you, we just encourage a little extra precaution since it is Halloween,” Esquivel said.

It's important to make sure animals wear a collar and have proper identification because a lot of animals run away on Halloween, and having identification makes it a lot easier to return them to their owners, Esquivel said.

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