Sheriff Allen Riley
Sheriff Allen Riley

Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents, trick-or-treat time may be a bit tricky. Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley is urging families to take a moment to consider basic safety precautions to help make your child’s Halloween a safer night of fun, for your family and our community.


  • Face paint is safer than a mask – and it’s more fun!
  • Choose costumes in light colors or add reflective tape.
  • Check that costumes are flame-retardant and not so long as to pose a tripping hazard.

Trick-or-Treaters Should:

  • Travel in pairs or groups and stay together.
  • Walk on the sidewalk or on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Stop, look and listen at corners, driveways or parking lot entrances.
  • Plan a safe route; stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on. Stay in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick so they are more visible. Try adding reflective tape to costumes and candy bags.
  • Carry a cell phone if trick or treating without an adult. Know when and how to call 911 if there is an emergency.
  • Be respectful of other people and their property.
  • Dress for the weather.

Trick-or-Treaters Should NOT:

  • Go inside a stranger’s house or get into a stranger’s car.
  • Run across yards or streets.
  • Venture down dark, empty streets.
  • Approach dark, unlighted houses.
  • Go between parked cars or crisscross back and forth across streets.
  • Trick-or-Treat alone

Parents with Younger Children:

  • Should accompany young children.
  • Plan to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out.
  • Walk with your children to each house and walk them to the door to receive treats.


  • Children should save all their candy until they get home and have it checked by an adult.
  • Feed your children a meal or substantial snack before trick or treating so they are less tempted to eat the candy.
  • Inspect all treats when you get home. Throw away any unwrapped, open, or suspicious-looking goodies.
  • If your child becomes suddenly ill, IMMEDIATELY call your doctor or dial 911! Try to determine what the child has eaten and where it came from. Save all wrappers.

At Home:

  • Put away anything trick-or- treaters could trip over.
  • Turn the lights on and replace any burned-out bulbs at the walkway and front door.
  • Remember, your jack-o- lantern and any other candles or electrical decorations can be a fire hazard. Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from flammable materials.
  • Never leave your house unattended. If you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.
  • Dogs and cats should remain in your residence during the time kids are out trick-or-treating.

Even if you don’t have children:

  • If driving on Halloween, watch for trick or treaters in the streets and darting out from between parked cars.
  • If hosting or attending a Halloween celebration that includes alcohol, be responsible!  Don’t drink and drive and have a plan.

We also recommend that you map out your route and check it against the New York State Sex Offender Registry at It is a good practice to check in with this vital public safety resource throughout the year.

Review these safety guidelines with your family and set ground rules before heading out. The Sheriff’s Office will have increased patrols on October 31st, but a little planning is the best way to ensure a safe, fun Halloween.

By martha

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