Make Sure Your Halloween Is More Treat Than Trick

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers these tips for a safer and fun night

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Halloween is a fun and exciting night of the year for many children, but parents may feel uneasy and anxious about allowing their children to approach unknown homes. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) urges parents to use this night as a teachable moment for themselves and their children by reinforcing the importance of safety all year long.

  • Children should be accompanied by a parent or trusted adult and walked to the door by the parent to receive treats. Children should NEVER enter a home without his or her parent's permission.
  • Know the neighborhood in which you plan to trick or treat. Pick houses that you feel comfortable letting your child visit. Do not visit homes that are isolated or poorly lit.
  • Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, and make sure they get away quickly if someone gets out of a vehicle and starts to approach them.
  • Make sure your child is able to see and move easily in their costume. Consider having your child carry a flashlight so that they can see more easily, and are easily seen.
  • In case you become separated, make sure your child knows your cell phone number and address. Teach your children how to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • Consider organizing a home or community party as an alternative to "trick-or-treating."
  • Teach your child to say "NO!" or "this is not my mother/father" in a loud voice if someone tries to get him or her to go somewhere. Teach your child to kick, scream and resist if someone tries to get him or her to leave. Your child's safety is more important than being polite!

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse on issues related to missing and exploited children, the organization operates the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 3,620,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 178,000 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 1,606,500 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 75,652,300 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit its web site at

SOURCE National Center for Missing & Exploited Children