Howard County Police said this week they will be out in "full force" this Halloween to make sure children have a fun and safe evening.
Officers will be on the lookout for vandalism, theft and destruction of property, as well as conducting speed enforcement, said police.
Police offered the following tips to help keep kids safe:
- Encourage children to trick-or-treat with a group, and before dark. After dark, an adult chaperone should carry a flashlight and choose well-lighted streets.
- Wear costumes that are short, snug and flame retardant. Flowing sleeves, capes and skirts can cause children to trip and can catch fire if they brush against candle flames. Also be sure to wear light colors or reflective tape.
- Avoid masks that can obstruct vision.
- Stay in groups while trick-or-treating and make sure young children are always accompanied by adults.
- Teach children they should NEVER go into a stranger’s home or car.
- Remind children not to eat treats before they have been inspected by parents. Never eat candy that has been opened.
- Set a time limit for children to trick-or-treat. Together, map out a safe route so you know where they’ll be. Remind them not to take shortcuts through backyards, alleys or playing fields.
- Leave porch or other outside lights on to make clear that trick-or-treaters are welcome.
- Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard to visitors.
- Drive slowly all evening – you never know when a trick-or-treater may dart into the street.