Tips for fun, safe trick-or-treating

By Erin Kolb and Brooke Shinberg

Candy may be harder to come by in a college town, leaving some DeKalb residents to take their children to trick-or-treat in neighborhoods surrounding NIU.

Renita Evans and her children live close to the NIU campus. For Evans, this year, like last year, she’ll take her children to DeKalb neighborhoods further from the campus. College students usually don’t offer candy from apartments on campus, she said. Her children will join other children in DeKalb for trick-or-treating today.

Evans said she noticed some vandalism, like smashed pumpkins, in the past around this time of the year.

“It would be nice if vandals would clean up after themselves,” Evans said.

Sycamore Police Lt. Darrell Johnson said there are occasional reports of criminal damage like houses getting egged on or decorations being kicked over around the Halloween holiday.

There are no actual laws regarding trick-or-treating age limits and but high school students are discouraged from trick-or-treating, Johnson said. There haven’t been any significant problems with teenagers in the past, he said.

“But many houses wouldn’t really want to give candy to high school students,” Johnson said. “They could probably be doing something better with their time.”

The trick or treating hours for DeKalb are from 4 to 8 p.m. today.

DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen said the hours should give everyone enough time to have fun.

“I think that certainly it gives young families and parents kids time to get in by eight,” Povlsen said. “It gets dark now by six and it seems an adequate amount and its insures safety.

DeKalb Lt. Carl Leoni said children have many ways to stay safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween.

Children should always have adult supervision or try to be in large groups, he said. Children should not take shortcuts through dark areas and should stay on the intended route, Leoni said. If someone tells a child they can have candy if they come inside the house, the child should not enter the home.

Leoni said he advises children to dress in a way that makes them visible at night, like wearing bright clothes, carrying glowsticks or carrying a flashlight. Children may want to paint their face instead of wear a mask to see easier.

DeKalb Lt. Jason Leverton said that realistic looking accessories such as knives, or guns should be avoided as well.

“We don’t want people to get frightened,” Leverton said.

At the end of the night, Leoni said children should have someone responsible check their candy before eating any. The main point of Halloween is wanting children to be safe and have fun, he said.

“As long as everyone uses common sense and safety, Halloween should be a memorable evening, not a regrettable one,” Johnson said.