NEW JERSEY - The candy bowls are filled. Costumes are ready. The kids as well as many adults are exited for the annual October 31 ritual of dressing up in costume to head for those yummy treats. However, to avoid some Halloween mishaps that will definitely put a damper on the festivities, keep these simple safety tips in mind.

Trick or Treat with Care

  • Always cross at the corners
  • Stay in crosswalks
  • Cross where there are traffic lights in busier areas
  • Walk along the sidewalk
  • If there aren't any sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic while staying close to the side of the roadway
  • Put electronic devices down while walking
  • Watch for cars backing out of driveways and pulling in
  • Don't cross between cars
  • Never eat candy until a parent or caregiver checks them
  • Throw away homemade treats from strangers
  • Discard open candy or treats
  • Obey town curfews

Costume Tips

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  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • High heels often aren't the best trick or treating shoes
  • Make sure the costume isn't too long to avoid tripping
  • Tie shoes
  • Avoid masks if possible, but if wearing one be sure it doesn't obstruct vision
  • Put reflective tape on treat bags
  • Glow sticks or flashlights are helpful in lighting the trick or treaters way and making them visible to drivers

Where to Trick or Treat

  • Always trick or treat in neighborhoods where kids are familiar
  • Never go into a house for treats or approach a car that is offering candy
  • Kids under 12 should trick or treat with an adult
  • Tweens and teens should not trick or treat alone; go in a group
  • If kids are going in a group, map out a designated streets in a familiar area before they leave
  • Use cell phones to keep in contact when kids are trick or treating with friends
  • Only knock on the doors of houses that are well lit

Halloween Driving Tips

  • 5:30 p.m through 9:30 p.m. are prime trick or treating hours
  • Stay alert and slow down in residential areas since trick or treaters are often unpredictable
  • Use caution when entering and exiting driveways and alleyways
  • Turn headlights on earlier than normal
  • Don't text and drive

Many Garden State towns impose curfews on Mischief Night and on Halloween. Be sure to check with local police department websites to see if your town has one.

The Spotswood and Helmetta Police Departments will be enforcing a 9 p.m. curfew on both October 30 and 31.