The emergence of goblins, ghosts and witches can only mean one thing — Halloween is here.

While the spooky holiday combines the best of costumes and candy, safety is an important thing to keep in mind for adults and children alike.

Here are some tips offered by local health officials:

• Trick-or-treaters should wear flame-resistant costumes that are brightly colored to help them better be seen in the dark. Reflective tape can be added to darker costumes as well.

• Avoid houses that are not well lit and be wary of pets, as they may feel threatened when a stranger approaches the home.

Motorists should also take care to be aware of families trick-or-treating, and watch out for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs, as well as driveways and alleys.

Pumpkin carving is another holiday tradition that, if not supervised properly, could result in injury.

Carving kits or knives designed specifically for carving pumpkins should be used. In the event of a cut, health officials recommend elevating the injured body part and applying direct pressure to the wound.

If you’re looking to go out, aside from the traditional house-to-house action, we encourage you to check with some of your local businesses, churches and organizations for events, as they often organize activities at their location as an alternative safe space to celebrate.

For instance, the city of Greenville is hosting its 20th annual Halloween on the Square event in Downtown Greenville from 4-6 p.m. The event is free and will feature trick-or-treating, live music, games and more.

And finally, pet lovers should also be vigilant on the spookiest of holidays.

Staff with the city of Greenville Animal Control recommend keeping outdoor pets in a fenced area where they won’t be frightened by the high number of trick-or-treaters walking in and out of front yards, while keeping indoor animals in a back room of the house so they aren’t disturbed by constant opening and closing of the front door.

Visitors can also cause pets to become stressed, so it is recommended that you secure your pet in a crate or room inside of the home, with toys to distract them.

For those that want to bring the canine along for trick-or-treating, make sure your pet’s leash and collar are sturdy and secure, and that your furry friend has identification tags and a microchip.

We wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

— Greenville Herald-Banner

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