Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little scary. Parents have concerns about kids being in the neighborhood at night and also about what may be in those bags of goodies. Following a few safety tips will ensure that Halloween will still be a good time for all. The Deer Park Police Department wants to help your house and neighborhood with some holiday safety tips. - Welcome the trick-or-treaters by turning on exterior lights and removing objects from your yard that might present a hazard to visitors. - Have your Neighborhood Watch group patrol the community and help kids cross the streets. Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the Deer Park Police Department. - Make sure your kids are in safe costumes. Check that costumes are flame-retardant so the kids are not in danger near candles or other fire hazards. Ensure the costumes are short enough to prevent trips or falls. - Encourage your kids to wear comfortable shoes. - Try makeup instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable, and they can obstruct a child’s vision. Make sure the kids are wearing light colors or put reflective tape or blinking lights on their costumes. - Halloween blood and gore are harmless for the most part. However, sometimes being dressed up, along with the excitement of Halloween, can bring out aggressive behavior. Even fake knives, swords, and guns can accidentally hurt people. Make sure these items are made from cardboard or other flexible materials, or try to challenge kids to create costumes that don’t need “weapons” to be scary and fun. - When kids go out into the neighborhood for Halloween fun, make sure older kids go in a group and younger children are accompanied by an adult. - Be sure to set a time limit for trick-or-treating and have the kids follow a route mapped out in the neighborhood. - Remind kids not to enter strange houses or vehicles. - Kids need to know not to eat their treats until they get home. Check all treats at home in a well-lit place. - Only eat unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. - Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious.