NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Halloween is a time for good-natured scares and hair-raising surprises as little ghosts and goblins take to the streets to collect their treats.

But there are some real dangers that lurk, should proper precautions not be taken. Several police agencies across Middle Tennessee will be keeping a close eye on neighborhoods Tuesday night to help ensure a “trick-free” Halloween.

In Nashville, the Metro Nashville Police Department said officers will be “taking a zero-tolerance approach to criminal behavior, as well as pranks that cross the line.” Areas like Mt. Juliet will also be tripling their patrol staffing Halloween night.

According to the Mt. Juliet Police Department, the most significant risk to children on Halloween is being struck by a car. Reports by Safe Kids Worldwide indicate children are twice as likely to be in a fatal pedestrian accident on October 31 than any other day.

Officials said some of the reasons for this are children are more likely to cross streets rapidly; dart in front of cars; and be distracted by other children’s costumes, behaviors and home decorations on Halloween.

In order to ensure safety, young children should always be accompanied by an adult or someone responsible while trick-or-treating. Police said motorists also need to be cautious, patient and slow down, especially in neighborhoods.

The MNPD offered the following safety tips and reminders for those going out Tuesday night:

  • Agree on a specific time older children should return home;
  • Teach children to never enter a stranger’s home or vehicle;
  • Tell kids to stay together in familiar and well-lit areas;
  • Check your child’s treats for anything odd;
  • Carry a flashlight and wear bright clothing;
  • Put phones away and pay attention;
  • Keep costumed children away from pets. The pet may not recognize the child and become frightened or react in a vicious manner.

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Any unsafe mischief or driving behavior should be reported to police immediately by calling 911.