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Criminal justice professors share their top 5 tricks for a safe Halloween

10.24.2014 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
Top 5 tips for a Happy Halloween

When it comes to Halloween safety, no one knows more than the professors from Texas Wesleyan’s criminal justice program. That's why they put together their top 5 tips for trick-or-treaters this year.

Whether you are hitting the houses with your kids, attending a neighborhood party or staying at home, these pointers will help you have a safe and happy Halloween.

1. Know the apps

There are many great apps for parents of young children that can be especially helpful on Halloween. Most of the following apps are free or at a minimal cost:

  • FBI’s Child ID—Uses critical information like descriptions and current photographs to immediately set up a search for a child
  • Family GPS Tracker and Safety Center—Home screen markers show family members and safety resources
  • MamaBear App—Notifies parents when children arrive or leave from designated locations
  • Pocket First Aid & CPR (American Heart Association)—Quick, concise, and clear first aid and CPR instructions, including videos and search functionality

2. Test masks, make-up and candy for allergies

Check to make sure anything that you or your children wear or digest isn’t going to cause an allergic reaction - or worse. Costumes should fit well and be flame-resistant. Avoid sharp or pointed accessories. Remember to make sure candy is unopened and check for food allergens.

3. Be street-wise

When walking outside after dark, always wear reflective clothing and carry a good flashlight (don't have one? get the flashlight app for your phone). Always follow well-lit and well-traveled paths and sidewalks facing traffic. Make sure you set up a meeting place in case someone in your group gets lost.

4. Treat them to neighborhood activities

City, neighborhood or HOA organized activities pose less risk than running through neighborhoods looking for candy. It also gives you a chance to meet those new neighbors. Check out some of these family-friendly events listed on

5. Approach Halloween-friendly houses

  • Look for houses with decorations, porch lights on and other trick-or-treaters.
  • Avoid haunted houses for young children – even a neighborhood home with spooky dry ice and scary music can be enough to frighten a child.
  • Be aware of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood.
    • Sex Offender Apps—Variety of apps for tracking physical descriptions, addresses, and charges of registered sex offenders in your area.
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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.