Safe Trick or Treating Tips from the Sarasota Police Department

SARASOTA, Fla -- October 17, 2014 -- 12:30 p.m.

This Halloween, the Sarasota Police Department wants you to have a safe night! 

Halloween can be one of the most exciting times of the year for children but sometimes hectic for parents and guardians.  This Halloween, take a moment to consider basic safety precautions to help make your children's Halloween a safer night of fun.

Some tips:
• Choose bright costumes, and have children carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are easily visible.  (Hint -- Try adding reflective tape to costumes and candy bags!)

• Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.

• Make sure children know your cellphone number, their home telephone number, and address in case you get separated.

• Consider giving them a cellphone so they can reach you easily.

• Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.

• Teach children to say "NO!" in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them. Tell them to try everything they can to escape, including yelling, hitting, and kicking.

• Make sure older children take friends and stay together while trick-or-treating.

• Never send younger children out alone -- they should be with a parent, guardian, or another trusted adult. 

• Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats.

• Don't let children enter a home unless you are with them.

• Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.