Help kids stay safe on Halloween

Safety expert offers tips to have safe, fun holiday

Published On: Oct 29 2012 12:24:35 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 30 2012 05:58:13 PM EDT
Trick or treat
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Halloween can get tricky when it comes to the safety of children. Here are some suggestions to help have a worry-free holiday.

One familiar tip is to check children's candy.

Channel 4 crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson says when getting home from trick-or-treating, checking the candy is important to make sure everything is wrapped and safe.

There are a lot of other things to do before while going house to house.

"One, you want to go to a well-lit house porch light, flood lights -- that's generally a good indicator they're open for business," Jefferson said.

Costume safety matters. Parents should make sure children are visible to drivers. They can use reflective tape to make their costumes visible in the dark, and also have them carry flashlights or glow sticks.

Speaking of the dark, when is it time to cut off the fun?

"You don't want to have kids out any longer than 8:30, 9 o'clock at the latest," Jefferson said.

He also said parents need to make sure there are enough adults to go around to make sure all the children in a group are accounted for.

"For every three children, there should be one adult, which is the best thing to do, and don't ever let a child venture away from the group," Jefferson said.

He also recommends planning a trick-or-treating route ahead of time so that parents can check out the neighborhoods to make sure they are safe and well-lit, and check the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website for a list of sexual predators to make sure the kids don't knock on their doors.

"Parents should stay with the children," Jefferson said. "When the person opens the door, not only should they see the children, but the adult standing in the background."

Parents who have a tween or teen trick-or-treating with a group should make sure to remind their children not to go inside the homes or cars of anyone they meet. They should talk about how they always need to stay together as a group and never let a child or pair of children go off on their own.

For more tips on Halloween safety, go to www.SafeKids.org.