According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were an estimated 36-million Halloween “trick-or-treaters” roaming the streets nationwide in 2007.
Additionally, in previous years, Halloween has been one of the heavier wireless-calling days of the year at AT&T, the nation’s largest wireless carrier.
Knowing this will be another busy Halloween, the Little Rock Police Department and AT&T have partnered to provide the following 13 tips to help ensure trick-or-treaters stay safe.
1. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
2. Program emergency contact numbers into cell phones. Enter I-C-E (in case of emergency) and trade phone numbers with all parents in your party.
3. Make sure wireless phones are fully charged.
4. Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
5. Establish a periodic check-in time. For older children who may venture out with less supervision, set up periodic check-in times to have them call or text home throughout the evening.
6. Have a family communication plan in place. Tell your kids to call home if they become separated from the group or lost. Make sure kids know where you are and how to reach you.
7. A parent or a responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
8. Remain on well-lit streets, always use the sidewalk and remember to carry a flashlight for greater visibility.
9. Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger’s house.
10. Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don’t eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
11. Have a preplanned route for your trick or treating night so that everyone knows their boundaries.
12. Never approach or get into a car if you do not know who is in it.
13. Parents should review sex offender registration address information for possible offender locations along their route. By following these 13 safety tips, Halloween can be a safe and happy holiday for children and adults of all ages.