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NOPD Crime Prevention Halloween Hints

posted Oct 17, 2011, 2:01 PM by Yvonne Mitchell-Grubb

Neighbors & Friends,

Halloween is great time of year for children and parents, but parents should be aware of the potential dangers that can affect children who are not supervised.   Minor children should always have a parent or adult supervision when going door to door in their quest for candy.  This should be the case when traveling in a group of friends or kids insisting on going out alone.  It’s up to adults to make sure the only scary experiences associated with the spirit of Halloween are decorations.

The following recommendations are for parents, aunts, uncles and guardians:

Masks- Try make up instead of a mask.  Make certain that any face paint or make-up used on skin is non-toxic.  Children's ability to see, hear, and move should not be impaired by hard plastic or rubber masks.  Mask can be hot, uncomfortable and can obstruct their vision.  If you decide on a mask, make sure you cut out the eye part of the mask to increase your child’s ability to see. (Peripheral Vision)

Costumes should be flame-retardant and should allow children to walk freely without tripping.  There are times where candles will be used in decorations.   Make sure the costume isn’t too long.   Make sure kids wear comfortable shoes, no flip flops or high heels.

Extra care should be taken on streets and at crossings, especially at dusk and after dark.  The same consideration should be used when walking past driveways and carports.

Children should carry a flashlight or attach a blinking light to young children.  Wear reflective or bright colored clothing at night. Place reflective tape down the arms and legs of your child’s costume.  Try to get started before dark. 

Emergency identification information should be placed discreetly inside clothing of small children, in case of accidental separation.  It can be placed in their pocket or sock. 

Make sure older kids go out with more than one friend.  Younger children should be accompanied by an adult.  I like a 2 to 1 ratio. (One parent per two children)  Helpful hint-When crossing the street hold your child’s wrist instead of his/her hand.

Set a time limit and street boundaries for older kids. 

Avoid having children wear their names outwardly on clothing. This may allow a stranger to call them by name and appear to know them.

Children should be cautioned to avoid strangers, as well as poorly-lit areas and homes of people they do not know.  Prior to going out, check the internet for convicted sex offenders living in your area.

Remind your kids not to enter any residence. This is important even if they know the person from the neighborhood.

Halloween treats should only be consumed if they are packaged.  Parents can help protect their children by making sure that treats are wrapped in their original, unbroken packages.  Make sure your kids don’t consume loose candy, drink from open glasses, bottles or containers.  And by all means don’t allow your child to eat what appears to be fresh fruit, or homemade goods.

An adult should always examine Halloween treats before children eat them. Never eat open or unwrapped Halloween foods. Don’t let kids eat any candy before it’s inspected by you.  Have your kids eat a full meal or large snack before they go out. Hot dogs and chips before you head out! 

If after eating a Halloween treat there is evidence that it may have been tampered with, or it has a strange taste, or if a child feels sick, parents or guardians can call the Poison Control Center.

The National Poison Control Center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, for emergencies and advice at 1-800-222-1222.  There are representatives on duty for Spanish language speakers, or for TDD users. The National toll free number connects to the nearest local poison control center.

 Sgt. Michael A. LeVasseur


Crime Prevention Section/El Protector

New Orleans Police Department

715 South Broad St., Fourth Floor

New Orleans, Louisiana 70119

504-658-5590 Office 

504-658-5591 Desk