POSTED: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 3:04pm
LOUISIANA — Halloween is a time when excited children around the state crowd their neighborhood streets for trick-or-treating.
The Louisiana State Police urge parents to be vigilant when allowing their children to approach homes that are unfamiliar to them. Always accompany your children when they are participating in trick-or-treat festivities.
Louisiana State Police recommend the following safety practices this Halloween:
• Ensure that your child carries a flashlight and/or wears a reflective or blinking mechanism to alert drivers of the child’s location.
• Masks can restrict vision and breathing, face painting is a safe option.
• Costumes should fit children correctly and not drag the ground, which could create a tripping hazard.
• Children should be accompanied by adults/parents and should not be allowed to enter homes or vehicles without their supervision.
• Children should also know their address, phone number, and how to dial 911 for emergencies. Young children should have this information attached somewhere on their costume in the event they get separated or lost.
• Parents are urged to inspect the candy for safety after returning home
• Motorists are urged to be very diligent when driving through neighborhoods where children are present and understand that kids will be distracted while going from house to house.
Parents who are concerned and unsure of where to find accurate information regarding the presence of sex offenders and predators in their neighborhoods can visit the Louisiana State Police Webpage and follow the instructions below:
• Log onto www.lsp.org 
• Click on the Sex Offender Registry link
• Click on the Search For Sex Offenders link (State of Louisiana) where all parishes are listed separately by individual links
• Click on the Search National Sex Offender Registry link
• Click on the contact information link (to contact the State Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry)
Citizens are encouraged to look up important addresses and review the list of registered sex offenders living within a 0.25-2 mile radius of that specific address. The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives, therefore, educating citizens on which houses to avoid while trick-or-treating.
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the address-monitoring feature is that once your important addresses and e-mail address have been registered, the system will automatically alert you via e-mail when an offender moves within 0.25-2 mile radius of the registered address. The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with their local sheriff’s office. The benefit of registering for this confidential e-mail alert service allows the “Offender Watch” database to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly.
Under current Louisiana Law, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to participate in Halloween Trick-or-Treat activities in any way. This includes house decoration, attending parties where children could be, and wearing costumes with masks or face paint which would hide their identity. If you become aware of a sex offender who is attending costume parties where children are present or giving out candy, notify your local law enforcement immediately.
The Louisiana State Police encourages everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween.