Halloween is a fun holiday for many families, but safety should come first.
Here are safety tips from the FBI, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
1. Instruct older children to take friends with them when they go trick or treating.
2. Make sure a trusted adult or older child accompany younger children. A trusted adult is a person parents or guardians have come to rely on and with whom they and their children feel comfortable. Discuss with your child who will accompany him or her and make sure you are both comfortable with the choice.
3. Accompany, or make sure a trusted adult accompanies, your younger children to the door of every home they approach. Become familiar with each home your child visits and the people who are providing Halloween treats to your children.
4. Teach your children to only enter homes with your prior permission and only approach homes that are well-lighted both inside and outside.
5. Teach your children to never to approach a vehicle unless they are accompanied by you, even if it appears no one is inside the vehicle.
6. Make sure your children wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or glow stick when traveling during the evening hours.
When picking your child's costume keep in mind bright colors are more easily seen in the dark. Using reflective tape or flashing lights will help cars see your child. Bags and sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape.
7. Make sure your children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using masks. Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear loose-fitting masks that might restrict breathing or obscure vision.
However if a mask is used, make sure it fits securely and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant. Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping and falling.
8. Teach your children to always stay in well-lighted areas, never take shortcuts, and never go into isolated areas.
9. Teach your children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report anything unusual to you and/or law enforcement.
10. Teach your children if anyone tries to grab them to draw attention to themselves by loudly yelling “This person is trying to take me” or “This person is not my father/mother.”
Instruct your children to make every effort to escape by walking, running, or pulling away; yelling; kicking; attracting attention; and/or otherwise resisting.11. Do not let your children eat their candy until it has been inspected. Throw out any items not manufactured and not completely sealed.
12. Create an identification card in case you get separated. It can be as simple as an index card. Make sure you tell your child only to take it out if they get separated.
13. Do not allow your child to take expensive items with them like iPods as they can be a target to thieves.
14. Tell children if someone tried to take their candy, to just give it to them. This will keep them safe from any altercations.
15. If you are going to a Halloween event keep your children at arm’s length at all times; events can be crowded.
Maricopa’s own Church of Celebration sponsors a costume-candy event 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Pacana Park.