The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to always have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. To help keep children safe while out trick-or-treating, and avoid potential hazards, the Sheriff’s Office recommends that parents follow basic precautions below. Some are commonly known child safety tips while others focus on the possibility of victimization on an evening when thousands of children may be walking in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
The Sheriff’s Office urges parents to communicate with their children about prevention and detection of potential dangerous situations throughout the entire year. Have a plan for what your child should do if they become separated. Discuss with your child before heading out.
- Always trick-or- treat with an adult. Don’t allow a child to go outside alone
- Accompany children to the door of every house they approach
- Stay outside. Never enter a home or apartment without adult supervision
- Children should not approach any vehicle, occupied or not
- Remain visible. Wear bright clothing or use reflective strips on costumes. Carry a glow stick or flashlight.
- Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations. Look in all directions before crossing, walk on sidewalks, and obey traffic signals and stop signs. Always walk; never run across streets or lawns.
- With all the extra pedestrian traffic on Halloween, drivers are reminded to be extra cautious at all times by eliminating distractions
- Children should be warned to never approach a house that is not well lit and does not have a porch light or outside light on
- Do not go onto properties that are marked “Keep Out”, “No Trespassing”, and “No Solicitors Allowed.”
- Parents are advised to stay in neighborhoods that are well known to them. If your child should become lost, this increases the chance of them finding a safe and familiar place to go.
- Never eat any treat until it is thoroughly checked by an adult. Dispose of anything that seems to have been tampered with, has been opened, or isn’t wrapped.
Children should immediately report to their parents and/or law enforcement if they see or experience anything suspicious. Instruct children to shout for help and make a scene if anyone tries to grab them or force them into involuntary situations.
A great alternative to trick-or-treating is for parents to attend community trick or treat events or organize at-home parties.
Another safety tool available to parents is the Alertid mobile app. This free mobile app uses a cell phone’s location to provide crime information for whatever neighborhood the user visits to go trick-or-treating and as an everyday safety awareness tool. The app may be downloaded at www.AlertID.com.