RALEIGH, N.C. — Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday issued tips to help parents and children enjoy a safe Halloween.
"Like many parents, I plan to take my kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood," Cooper said. "I want all families to enjoy Halloween safely. Parents and kids can take a few simple precautions to ensure a fun and fright-free Halloween."
Cooper issued the following tips on how to choose costumes wisely, trick-or-treat safely, screen candy and prepare your home for trick-or-treaters.
Tips on costumes
When shopping for costumes, look for labels that say flame resistant or fire-retardant.
Select costumes that are brightly colored and will reflect light, or add reflective tape.
Make sure that costumes and shoes fit well to prevent trips and slips.
Consider non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup or a hat instead of a mask that can block eyesight. If a mask is a must, choose one with large eye, nose and mouth openings.
Secure hats and scarves to keep them from obscuring the child's vision.
Choose costume props that cannot cause injury. If the costume calls for a sword or broomstick, pick one made from cardboard or other flexible materials.
Tape or pin children's name, address and phone number to their costume.
Tips for trick-or-treaters
A parent or other responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
For older trick-or-treaters, establish a curfew. Plan and review the route they will take and be clear about your expectations for their behavior.
Children should only trick-or-treat in neighborhoods they know and should only knock on doors at well-lit houses.
All children should know their home number and how to call 911 in case of emergency.
Trick-or-treaters should always carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
Remind children to walk, not run, from house to house and to stick to sidewalks rather than cutting across yards. The candy will still be there even if they don't take that short cut. If your neighborhood lacks sidewalks, make sure trick-or-treaters know to walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
Tips on treats
Check all treats before your children eat anything. If you will not be joining the trick-or-treaters on their rounds, make it clear that all candy must be brought home for parental inspection before they eat even one piece.
To keep your kids from munching on candy, send a snack with them. A good meal prior to trick-or treating will also discourage them from filling up on Halloween treats.
Tell children not to consume unwrapped food or open drinks they may be offered.
When inspecting your kid's Halloween haul, dispose of any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped. Discard any candy that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
Tips for homeowners
Eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and in your yard before those ghosts and witches come knocking.
Check around your property for flowerpots, tree limbs, or garden hoses that could pose a risk.
Turn your porch light on to let trick-or-treaters know they are welcome.
Prepare household pets for an evening of strange-looking creatures at the door.
Place jack-o-lanterns with lit candles in a safe place out of the reach of kids and away from anything flammable.
If you decide to carve a pumpkin, place it on a stable, flat surface. Children may draw the jack-o-lantern's face, but leave the carving to an adult.