FREEHOLD, NJ — To keep trick-or-treaters free from danger, risk or injury this Halloween, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office offers the following important safety tips:
- Ensure that all costumes contain fire-retardant materials. Untreated costumes may catch fire when exposed to open flames from jack-o'-lanterns and candles.
- Costumes should fit properly. Costumes that are too long may cause a child to trip or fall.
- Use makeup instead of a mask. In addition to being hot and uncomfortable, masks often obscure vision and can cause children to trip, fall or to not see oncoming vehicles.
- Apply reflective tape to both light and dark costumes to ensure visibility after dark.
- Props, such as swords or magic wands, should never be made out of wood or metal. Soft materials, such as cardboard, will do just as well and are much less likely to cause injury.
Before and During Trick-or-Treating
- Map out a trick-or-treat route.This way, you will know approximately where to find the child in the event of an emergency. Make sure another adult also has a copy of the route.
- Young children should always be accompanied by an adult.
- Older children should only trick-or-treat in groups, preferably led by an adult.
- At least one person per group should have a flashlight.
- Trick-or-treaters should only go to homes of people they know, and only those with the porch light on.
- Trick-or-treat is safest during daylight. Leave as early as possible since nights become darker in the fall sooner.
- Travel well-lit streets and stay on the sidewalks.
- Instruct children to avoid strangers and never accept a ride from someone they do not know.
- Keep children away from loose animals; there may be strays or pets frightened by the activity and costumes.
- Trick-or-treaters should not go inside a house to accept treats.
- Never allow children to eat any candy until you are able to inspect it.
- Remind children to always look both ways before crossing the street, cross only at the crosswalks, and never hide or cross the street between parked cars.
- Set a curfew for older children to be home at a specific time.
- Tell children that if someone is following them to stick together (don’t split up!) and run to a lighted area and a house for help.
- Make sure they have a cell phone to dial 9-1-1 for emergencies.
- Always inspect candy in a well-lit area. Look for pin holes, indentations, discoloration, unusual smells, pieces of metal or glass, and pieces that look malformed.
- Any fruit should be inspected with great care.
- If you find treats that have been tampered with or look in any way suspicious, do not eat them. Call your local police immediately. Give the suspicious treats to the responding police officer so he/she can bring them back for analysis.
OffenderWatch: Mapping New Jersey's Registerd Sex Offenders
Before trick-or-treating, New Jersey State Police advises to check its website for OffenderWatch, which is a mapping and notification service that informs citizens of the location of nearly 4,000 registered sex offenders in the state.
This online service is maintained by the state Bureau of Identification and can be accessed here. Click on the link to search for offenders in your area or register to receive free, confidential email alerts about nearby offenders.
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