PORTLAND -- State and national officials want parents to plan ahead for this year's Halloween activities with trick-or-treating safety tips.
Oregon State Police have teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Missing Children Clearinghouse to provide safe guidelines for a fun Halloween night.
1. Be sure older children take friends and younger children are accompanied by a trusted adult when trick-or-treating.
2. Accompany younger children to the door of every home they approach and make sure parents and guardians are familiar with every home and all people from which the children receive treats.
3. Teach children to never enter a home without prior permission from their parents or guardians.
4. Teach children to never approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
5. Make sure all children wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick when out at dusk and at night.
6. Make sure children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using facial masks. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.
7. Teach children to never approach a home that is not well lit both inside and outside.
8. Teach children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents, guardians, and/or the proper authority.
9. Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell, 'This person is not my father/mother/guardian;' and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.
10. Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to trick-or-treating.
"Halloween is an especially important time for parents and children to pay extra attention to their surroundings and not let their guard down," national safety director Nancy McBride said. "It is important that parents exercise a few basic safety precautions to help ensure that Halloween is both fun and safe."
Parents may also contact state police for child identification kits, which help authorities locate missing children.