Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but sometimes hectic for parents and guardians. In addition to worrying about costumes and cavities, parents must be conscious of where their children are and who they are with.

Oregon State Police and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children urge parents, guardians and children to remember that even though Halloween is a fun time, it is also one when we cannot forget about safety. Both agencies offer the following tips.

Before Halloween

• 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 them 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.

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