Wayne County will officially observe Halloween from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office will have a heavier presence of deputies patrolling neighborhoods during this time, Sheriff Larry Pierce said.

Residents wishing to participate should provide sufficient external lighting to welcome the trick-or-treaters.

Residents not wishing to participate should leave external lighting turned off.

Parents and guardians should accompany children at all times and are asked to respect property and property owners in all neighborhoods.

Mount Olive will observe Halloween trick or treating from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Fremont will observe Halloween trick or treating from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Pikeville will observe Halloween trick or treating from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Law enforcement is also offering tips on how to stay safe during the gallivant for candy.

Drivers should watch for children darting out between parked cars, and watch for those walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

Motorists should also proceed cautiously out of driveways and alleys, and keep an eye out for children in dark clothing.

Parents need to make sure that an adult or other responsible person will be supervising children younger than 12.

People should also check the sex offender registry at sexoffender.ncsbi.gov when planning a child's trick-or-treat route.

Parents should also:

* Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children's companions.

* Make sure older children trick-or-treat in a group.

* Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

* Teach children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit, and never to enter a stranger's home.

* Establish a return time.

* Tell youngsters not to eat any treats until they return home.

* Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.

* All children need to know their home telephone number and how to call 911 in case of emergency.

* Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and telephone number inside a pocket in case the child gets separated from the group.

Law enforcement also released these various tips on costumes, candy and how homeowners should conduct themselves:

Costume Design

* Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.

* Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.

* Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard.

* Make sure that shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.

* If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Face Design

* Do not use masks as they can obstruct a child's vision. Use facial makeup instead.

* When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," "Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow manufacturer's instruction for application.

* If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Accessories

* Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

* Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.

* Carrying flashlights with fresh batteries will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

While Trick-or-Treating

* Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.

* Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.

* Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.

* Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

Treats

* Give children an early meal before going out.

* Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.

* Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.

* Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped or has a strange odor, color or texture.

Homeowners/ Decorations

* Keep candles and jack o'-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.

* Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.

* Keep candles and jack o'-lanterns away from curtains, decorations, and other combustibles that could catch fire.

* Do not leave your house unattended.