The Santa Monica Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children want to remind parents to play it safe on Halloween night, offering tips on how to protect their young ghouls and goblins.

• Be sure older children take friends and younger children are accompanied by a trusted adult when trick or treating.

• Accompany younger children to the door of every home they approach and make sure parents and guardians are familiar with every home and all people from which the children receive treats.

• Teach children to never enter a home without permission from their parents or guardians and to never approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

• Make sure all children wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick when out at dusk and at night.

• Make sure children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using facial masks. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.

• Teach children to never approach a home that is not well lit both inside and outside.

• Teach children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents, guardians and/or the property owner.

• Teach children that if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell “this person is not my father/mother/guardian;” and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting.

• Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to trick or treating.

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