Safe trick-or-treating tips from the Sumter Police Dept.

WHAT:  Halloween Trick or Treating, Saturday, October 31st

WHEN should one trick or treat:  Between the hours of 5 PM - 9 PM

WHO should trick or treat:  Children up to age 12 with parents, guardians, or responsible adults.  Children should not trick or treat alone without a responsible adult.

*Parents, if you cannot personally take your children trick or treating, see if another parent or adult sibling can accompany them, do not send them out alone.

WHERE should one trick or treat:  Sponsored events such as City of Sumter Halloween on Main Street, Churches, Schools, Sumter Mall, and Festivals, neighbors,  family and friends.

The following are some safety tips for trick or treating that should be taken into consideration as your child enjoys their great Halloween adventure.  Your child's safety is paramount to a successful Halloween.


Children's costume should be fire-proof (flame retardant)

Costumes should fit properly to avoid tripping or entanglement.

Dress your child for inclement weather accordingly.

Costume and Mask eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision and should not obscure vision.

Reflective tape should be placed on costumes or clothing for greater visibility by others.

Children should carry a flash light or glow stick.

Do not carry objects that could cause injury (costume props of metal or glass or sharp objects), use plastic and flexible props only.

Trick or Treat Locations:

Go only to familiar locations or attend sponsored sanctioned events of churches, business, schools, or public festivals.

Make sure you only go where there is a porch light on and the house interior lights are on.

Do not cut through alley ways, backyards, woods or fields.

Stay in populated areas and well lighted areas.

Only visit familiar neighbors, friends, or neighborhoods when trick or treating door to door.

Always be aware of your surroundings, be attentive and look ahead to ensure safety.

Look for the concerned parents signs "Trick or Treaters Welcome Here".

Parents - take extra precautions to ensure your child enjoys the evening and is safe:

Parents accompany children to the door, do not send them to the door alone.

Parents do not let them go inside any residence and do not let them wonder off ahead of you, stay with the adult or group.

Instruct your children not to eat any candy or treats until their goodies have been inspected by you at home.

Instruct your children not to go with any stranger.

Instruct your children to shout for help if someone refuses to leave them alone.

Instruct your children to tell you immediately if someone's actions make them feel uncomfortable.

Instruct your children to tell you immediately if someone threatens them.

Instruct your children not to go inside any rooms nor should they get in the car with anyone.

Instruct your children not to take anything from individuals they do not know or trust.

Please call 911, if you believe you are in danger or have an emergency.

Streets and Roadways:

Be careful on the roadway and when crossing the streets.

Walk on sidewalks when available and not in the street.

Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if no sidewalks are available.

Watch out for cars and motorist.

Be careful around cars and residence - watch where you are going and avoid horseplay.

Be respectful of others property, do not damage or engage in malicious mischief  - this could result in personal injury, property damage, and prosecution.


The National Safety Council urges motorist to be especially alert on Halloween.

Motorist should reduce their speeds, drive with headlights on and use your flashers, watch for pedestrians walking on the side of the road, in medians, and coming off the curbs.

Motorist should watch out for children in dark clothing always expecting the unexpected as our children enjoy the festivities of the traditional trick or treating.