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(Enlarge) The Directorate of Emergency Services recommends using face makeup for costumes instead of masks, which might restrict vision. (File photo)

The Fort Meade Directorate of Emergency Services offers the community a few tips to keep Halloween safe and accident free:

* Children should go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult. If a group of children is going, parents can team up to keep an eye on things.

* Try using face makeup instead of a mask that might restrict vision. Only carry flexible props, such as cardboard broomsticks and plastic light sabers that won't be as likely to cause an injury in the case of a fall.

* Make sure children carry flashlights or glow sticks or have reflective tape on their costumes to make them more visible to vehicles. Stick to the curfew times that have been established for trick-or-treating, 6 to 8 p.m., so residents will not be alarmed or disturbed late into the evening.

* Plan a safe route and know where children will be at all times. Set a time for their return home if the youths are old enough and responsible enough to go without you. Bring a fully charged cell phone in case of an unexpected emergency.

* Obey the law. Encourage children to follow the rules for walking around post. That includes looking both ways before crossing, obeying traffic laws and using cross walks and crossing lights when available.

* Let children know not to cut through backyards or across poorly lit wooded areas if they are older and trick-or-treating without you. Make sure they know to stay on the beaten track.

* Instruct children to never go into the home of a stranger or get into a strange car. Explain why this is not a good idea and tell them that if they are approached, to run away and call for help from another nearby adult or the Fort Meade Police patrolling the housing areas.

* Take first pick of the candy that the children have collected during the night. It's your reward for taking them house to house.

* Watch the candy intake for you and your children until you get home and have the chance to examine the candy wrappers.

Fort Meade Police will have additional patrols on duty during post trick-or-treat hours. Residents are encouraged to call the Police Help Desk at 301-677-6622 with concerns during that time.

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