As times change, more and more children are heading to the local mall or fall festival to grab up gobs of Halloween candy. But the traditional door to door adventure of begging for “tricks or treats” is something that can be accomplished safely by following a few simple tips.

According to, door-to-door trick or treating should be conducted during daylight hours if at all possible, and if children are planning to head out at night, an adult chaperone is recommended.

Weatherford Police Department Lt. Chris Crawford agreed and added, a cell phone would be a useful device to add to a child’s Halloween attire.

“First and foremost, depending on the age of the child, an adult should go with them,” Crawford said. “If the children plan to go on their own, make sure they have a way to contact an adult or call 9-1-1 if they need to.”

Sticking to a familiar neighborhood and preplanning a route are also useful ways to keep tabs on costume-clad adventurers.

“Parents need to know where their kids are going at all times,” Crawford said.

Planning a route can also prevent children from getting lost, especially during the night, and avoiding back alley ways and open fields will keep kids in the more populated and well-lit areas.

A flashlight, glow stick or reflective tape are highly recommended to increase visibility during the evening hours.

“Once it gets dark, carry a flashlight or flashing device,” Crawford said. “A lot of costumes are dark and a light will help them standout.”

Trick or treaters should avoid outdoor pets, homes without lights on and Halloween decorations with an open flame.

“Many of the costumes worn by children are not flame retardant,” explained Crawford. “People don’t realize how quickly a costume could catch fire.”

Finally, once the goodies have been grabbed up, parents should check all candies for signs of tampering, and children should not devour any tasty treats until an adult has checked them thoroughly.

“Anything that looks suspicious should be thrown away,” Crawford said, adding all items in a child’s bag should be checked for age appropriateness.

As for neighborhood safety, Crawford said Halloween serves as a time for mischief rather than serious criminal intent.

“We’re just like any other city,” he said. “On Halloween night we see a lot of pranksters, people setting off firecrackers and things like that. Most of the crimes we are going to see are from people calling in to complain about kids doing minor damage.”

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