We’ve been seeing Halloween decorations for quite a while now, so chances are, many parents have already bought those spooky, glamorous, or ghostly outfits for their kids already.  Halloween is a magical time when children can have the fun of ringing doorbells, and receiving a nice treat for their goody basket.  Thankfully, the old days of trick or treat, when “trick” meant getting your house wrapped or some other trick played on it if you didn’t hand out goodies doesn’t happen any more. (Does it?) 

If you turn your front lights on, that gives the signal that you are welcoming the little ghosts and goblins.  You know they are going to get lots of candy, so you might choose to give them healthier treats, such as packs of trail mix, pretzels, or raisins.  Be sure your sidewalks are free of objects that could cause falls.  Candle-lit jack-o-lanterns should be kept away from doorsteps, walkways, and curtains.  Keep them out of the reach of pets and small children; never leave them unattended.  Keep your pets away from ringing doorbells and other distractions that may be unnerving to them.  They don’t know if it’s some sort of celebration or World War III!

Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult or older, responsible teen.  They should know not to run, but walk from house to house and never cross the street behind parked cars, or run across lawns and yards where ornaments or furniture present dangers.  Children should never enter homes or apartments without their parent.  

Costumes are very colorful, but if a child decides to wear dark clothing, reflective tape or decals should be placed onto the costumes and bags so drivers can see them.  Carrying a flashlight can help the trick-or-treater be seen, as well as see others.  As we know, there’s safety in numbers, so children should go as a group, if possible.  Their costumes and masks should fit well and not block their vision.  Wearing a grown-up’s shoes could cause them to fall.  

If you have to drive during the hours of trick-or-treating, by all means, drive slowly in your neighborhood, and watch if you must back out of your driveway.   Careful driving pays all the time, but this is a time when there is a possibility that some little one is not being watched and could run into your pathway. 

Once the kids are safely home, be sure to inspect all goodies to ensure that they are safe.  (Hopefully, they haven’t eaten too much of it before they got home.)  Do not let them eat homemade treats unless you know the person who prepared the cookies or cupcakes.  It’s a shame that some people put items in children’s little baskets that may be harmful, but it’s best to be safe than sorry, so check out their baskets first thing.  

If you let your teenager host a party of their friends, be sure they know exactly who is planning to come.   Word gets out that there’s a party, and it seems everyone thinks they are invited.  It’s safer to host a party that won’t get out of hand, if you are familiar with the young people who are there. 

Whatever you choose to do this Halloween, make it a fun occasion for your children!  As soon as Halloween is over, you’ll see the Christmas decorations coming out; but don’t forget about Thanksgiving, as well.  Happy October, and have a safe Halloween!