AREA -- Cooler temperatures and falling leaves bring one of the most anticipated days of the year for youngsters, Halloween. Area law enforcement agencies want to make sure children in all areas of the coverage area are safe.
"This year Halloween falls on a school day (Tuesday) and daylight-saving time ends just two days earlier," said Alton Police Chief Rusty Warren. "Kids are going to be excited and will be going all over town from neighbor to neighbor, and drivers and parents need to be extra cautious."
Mammoth Spring Police Chief Michael Davis echoed Warren's advice and added some of his own. "Children are going to be out after dark Tuesday evening. They are going to be crossing busy streets and maybe even going to unfamiliar houses," Davis said.
Davis said by following some simple rules, parents, children, drivers and homeowners can all have a safe, enjoyable time.
Thayer Police Chief Gene Hatman said, "Halloween is a great time for children, but it can be a little scary for parents and drivers, especially drivers who do not have young children at home but find they may have to wander out after dark, forgetting that little ghosts and goblins may be walking the streets trick-or-treating." Hatman said.
The police chiefs said they offer the following advise and rules for all to follow.
* Children should always travel in a group.
* They should not eat any candy or treats until they get home and let their parents inspect it.
* Make sure kids have already eaten before heading out to trick-or-treat.
* Reflective tape on costumes helps increase the visibility of the trick-or-treaters.
* Makeup rather than masks should be worn to help ensure that children have an unobstructed view.
* The children should always cross at the corners of streets and look both ways before crossing.
* Children should stay on the sidewalk or, if none is available, walk facing the traffic.
* They should always carry a flashlight.
* Homeowners should clear their yards of anything that can be tripped over and refrain from decorations with a lighted flame.
* Children should only go to houses where the porch light is on.
All the law enforcement officers said Halloween will be observed from dusk to dark on Tuesday evening in their respective communities.