JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With many children planning to go trick-or-treating next week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reminding families to stay safe.
The agency offered the following tips for parents ahead of Halloween:
Know where your children are, who they are with and how to contact them. Make sure they know how to contact you, as well. Additionally, according to FDLE, young children should be joined by a trusted adult while trick-or-treating. FDLE said parents should also set clear limits of where their children can trick-or-treat and what time they should be home.
You can download and use FDLE's free mobile app from the App Store or the Google Play store. The app provides a number of public safety features, including the ability to search the Florida Sex Offender Registry, to see active Amber and Missing Child alerts, to search wanted persons and stolen vehicle information, and to submit anonymous tips about criminal activity.
Teach your child their name, address and telephone number. Parents should also make sure their children know how to call 911 in case of an emergency, remind them not to give out personal information to strangers and caution them not to go into strangers' houses or vehicles.
FDLE advises parents to teach their children about traffic safety before they go trick-or-treating. Traffic safety tips include walking on sidewalks if available and only crossing roads when and where it safe to do so. The use of bright clothing and/or a flashlight is recommended to ensure trick-or-treaters are visible to vehicles, especially once it is dark outside.
Use caution when picking costumes for yourself or your children. The FDLE said people should avoid masks that impair sight or hearing and beware of potential tripping or snagging hazards that may be posted by long costumes. Additionally, according to the FDLE, keep in mind that some places may have prohibitions on certain costume types or elements. For example, masks may be prohibited at a shopping mall or a theme park.
For additional tips on keeping children safe, click here.