Halloween is exciting and fun for children, but sometimes hectic for parents who worry about who their children are with.

Oregon State Police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) urge parents and guardians to consider the following basic safety precautions to keep Halloween safe and fun for children:

Before Halloween:

  • Choose bright costumes, and have children carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are easily visible.
  • Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
  • Make sure children know your cellphone number, their home telephone number, and address in case you get separated.
  • Consider giving children a cellphone so they can reach you easily.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • Teach children to say “NO!” in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them. Tell them to try everything they can to escape, including yelling, hitting, and kicking.

On Halloween:

  • Make sure older children take friends and stay together while trick-or-treating.
  • Never send younger children out alone – they should be with a parent, guardian, or another trusted adult.
  • Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats.
  • Don’t let children enter a home unless you are with them.
  • Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.

About the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Established in 1984, NCMEC is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children.

NCMEC is a unique public and private partnership, created to build a coordinated, national response to the problem of missing and sexually exploited children, establish a missing children hotline and serve as the national clearinghouse for information related to these issues.

In the last 30 years, NCMEC’s national toll-free hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), has handled more than 3.9 million calls, and with help from corporate partners, has circulated billions of photos of missing children and assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 199,000 missing children.