Tips to keep the kiddos safe tonight

Published 3:04 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

As superheroes, cartoon characters, monsters and witches emerge for Halloween, Louisiana Red Cross is urging safety to ensure trick-or-treating goes off without any hitches.

“Let’s do everything we can to keep trick-or-treaters safe,” said Shawn Schulze, CEO of Louisiana Red Cross. “We’re encouraging everyone to see, be seen and be aware of your surroundings. Whether you’re going door-to-door in search of candy, handing out the sweet treats or driving on what is a pedestrian-filled weekend, please be safe.”

If you’re going trick-or-treating, follow these steps:

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l Trick-or-treaters need to see and be seen. Use face makeup instead of masks that could make seeing difficult. Give trick-or-treaters a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. If possible, have everyone wear light-colored clothing.

Use flame-resistant costumes.

A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door.

Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.

Walk, don’t run.

Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door and never go inside.

Walk only on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars, and don’t cut across yards or use alleys.

Drivers, use extra caution as youngsters may forget to look both ways before crossing.

A grown-up should check all goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and remove any choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso also has some words of wisdom to offer: before your children trick-or-treat, parents need to take advantage of their real-time access to sex offenders in their area.

“We consistently conduct address verifications for sex offenders and do our best to ensure sex offenders live where they tell us, but it is up to our citizens to utilize these online tools to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they are living,” Manusco said.  “It is critical that you ‘Know Before You Go’ this Halloween.”

Mancuso said parents can visit and click on the Sex Offender Watch tab to quickly search for offenders in their area. Simply enter your home address to view a printable map of your neighborhood and any offenders in the surrounding area.

While on the website, Mancuso encourages users to take one extra step and register for the site’s free e-mail alerts.

“You can enter your home, school, or grandparents’ addresses to receive real-time email notifications any time an offender moves within one mile of any address you register.  There is no cost for this service to the public, and no limit to the number of addresses you can register,” he said.

Your email address and physical addresses are confidential.

“With these resources available parents can feel confident that they are armed with the necessary tools to keep their children safe this Halloween,” Mancuso said.