Trick-or-treating safety tips for parents, kids

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is offering safety tips for kids, parents and motorist to ensure that Halloween is safe and enjoyable for all.

Tips for Kids

  • Go only to homes with lights on or Halloween decorations displayed.
  • Do not eat any treats until they have been checked by an adult.
  • Watch for cars when crossing the street. Cross with all lights and in the crosswalks. Stop at all driveways and intersections before walking across.
  • Tell a parent or adult about anything that makes you uncomfortable or scared.

Related: Some plan armed trick-or-treating after scary clown threats

Tips for Parents

  • Make sure your child’s costume allows freedom of movement and good visibility.
  • Use reflector strips in your child’s costume or glow sticks to better see them in the dark.
    Carry a flash light.
  • Carry a cell phone to alert law enforcement if someone in your group gets separated.
  • If possible, have children trick or treat before dark.
  • Go in groups and make sure at least one adult is present. Go to every door with your child.
  • Before children eat any treats, check them. The safest rule is to throw out anything that is not store wrapped and in good condition.
  • Cut fruit into pieces before eating to make sure it has not been tampered with.
  • Sponsor a party in place of trick or treating. Sometimes shopping malls will sponsor a party with each shop owner providing the treats. Use your imagination.
  • Check the app on your smart phone or go to the HCSO website and to the Sexual Predators section. Place in your address or the area you are planning to trick or treat to check for the addresses of Sexual Predators and Offenders in that area. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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