The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office offers tips to keep your kids safe while trick-or-treating.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - On a night dedicated to nothing but fun, spooks, candy and decorations, the New Hanover County authorities want to make sure everyone plays it safe too.
"Halloween is a pretty big event downtown," said Detective Kevin Smith, with the Wilmington Police Department. "Folks like to get dressed up and have a good time and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't anticipate any bigger crowd than we've had in the past."
Authorities are not increasing patrol this Halloween. They are asking everyone to be vigilant and watch for suspicious behavior.
The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office organized a list of tips that might help parents and their children have a more organized, safe game plan for area trick-or-treats:
Set a time limit for children to trick-or-treat and establish a return time. Together, map a safe route so you know where they'll be. Remind them not to take shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or playing fields
Welcome trick-or-treaters at home by turning on your exterior lights and remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard to visitors.
Check that costumes are flame-retardant so the little ones aren't in danger near candlelit jack-o-lanterns and other fire hazards. Also, keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls and other bumps in the night. Make sure kids wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully and watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
Check the sex offender registry at www.ncdoj.govwhen planning your child's trick-or-treat route.
Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and telephone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten. Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped, or has a strange odor, color or texture.