Halloween is a special time for kids. Dressed as princesses, superheroes, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or whatever, they visit neighbors and friends and take home a treasure trove of treats.

To keep the evening fun and memorable, parents need to plan the Halloween weekend ahead of time. Sheriff Doug Cox offers several tips on keeping youngsters safe.

  • Know and observe the official trick-or-treat times for your area.
  • Plan your trick-or-treating route. If you live in an established child-oriented neighborhood, then you probably already have your route planned. If you’re not certain what trick or treating route might be best, ask your neighbors. People who walk their dogs or jog can often tell you exactly where the safe, child-oriented neighborhoods are.
  • Make sure your children are costumed for safety. It’s really important for each child to have glow bands or sticks, or reflective tape and flashlights so they can be seen in the dark.
  • Be visible and present for the children throughout the Halloween experience. Follow your children around, whether they like it or not.
  • When the children knock on the door to get a treat, stand behind them on the porch. That way the kids are free to enjoy themselves, and the person opening the door can clearly see an adult is caring for these children.
  • Provide each child with a wristband with your name and cell phone number. Or, write this information on a piece of paper and place it in each child’s pocket.
  • Remind them to not get near cars or into cars without your express permission.
  • Remind them of whom they can ask for help if they get lost. Look for one of the many sheriff’s and police cars that will be patrolling in many neighborhoods.

To help determine which houses to avoid, check the Sex Offender Registry Online (sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54796).

Halloween is pure kid time. To keep it fun, follow these commonsense precautions.

At a glance

Trick-or-treat hours

Bargersville: 6 to 9 p.m.

Edinburgh: 6 to 8 p.m.

Franklin: 6 to 9 p.m.

Greenwood: 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Indianapolis: 6 to 8 p.m.

Johnson County, including unincorporated areas and White River Township: 6 to 9 p.m.

Prince’s Lakes: 5 to 8 p.m.

New Whiteland: 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Trafalgar: 6 to 9 p.m.

Whiteland: 6 to 9 p.m.

At issue

Halloween is a fun time for children.

Our point

By following some simple precautions, the festivities can go off safely.