Tregre: Trick or treat safely this Halloween

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2019

St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre encourages parents and children to prepare for a safe and fun-filled Halloween. Halloween is not a state holiday or an official holiday. Yet, it is becoming one of the fastest growing celebrations of the year. “Unfortunately, Halloween’s heightened popularity can also mean the greater the possibility for a variety of dangers and crimes,” Tregre warns. “Criminals can commit crimes in disguise without ever arousing suspicion. And, it’s the one time of the year that homeowners willingly open their doors to strangers, expecting trick-or-treaters.”

Whether celebrating Halloween by going on a hay ride, carving pumpkins, trick-or- treating or throwing a costume party, common sense precautions can ensure safety and reduce the possibility of becoming a victim of crime or an unfortunate accident.

Although it is not possible to anticipate all of the dangers that can occur, Tregre offers tips for parents and children to create a happy Halloween experience before, during and after the ghosts and goblins have faded away.

Before Halloween:

  • Plan costumes and accessories that are bright, reflective, fit well and are flame-resistant.
  • For greater visibility, add reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags.
  • Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
  • Consider non-toxic makeup as an alternative to masks that can block eyesight.
  • Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If they are used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
  • Plan and review with your children the route and behavior that is acceptable to you.
  • Plan ahead to use only battery powered lanterns or chemical light sticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
  • Buy fresh batteries for your home Smoke Alarms.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Review with children the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll,” should their clothes catch fire.
  • Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.
  • Consider purchasing individually packaged candies and treats for Trick-or-Treaters.
  • Clear pathways on your porch and walkway to avoid trips and falls.
  • Consider safe party guidelines when hosting an adult of office party.

During Trick-or-Treating:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.
  • Use a flashlight that can see and be seen by others.
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
  • Obey all traffic and pedestrian rules.
  • Always walk across a street. Never run.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks.
  • Remove any mask that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
  • Do not assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-


  • Never consume food items or drinks that may be offered.
  • No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


After Trick-or-Treating:

  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. A responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to save treats for the days following Halloween.
  • Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.


If you suspect Candy Tampering, dial 9-1-1. Dispatchers have access to the Chocolate Manufactures Association Halloween Candy Hotline to assist in the investigations concerning candy tampering.

“Remember, a few simple safety precautions can mean all the difference between a fun and memorable celebration, or one spoiled by an avoidable incident,” Tregre said. “Keep safe and have a great Halloween.”

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