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Tips and Tricks for Safe Trick or Treating


Not that long ago, Halloween was more about tricks than treats. Well into the 1900s, young pranksters roamed the streets on October 31, creating plenty of noise — and mischief. Some towns actually appointed special police to make sure things didn't get out of hand.

Today, the annual costume-and-candy extravaganza is more about dressing up as a fairy princess or ninja warrior and filling buckets with candy from kind neighbors. Still, Halloween safety is very important — and not that tricky to achieve. Here are some tips to keep the kiddos safe:

Choose a fitting disguise. Help kids pick costumes that:

  • Fit well, and aren’t long enough to trip over.
  • Are made of flame retardant materials.
  • Are made of brightly colored material or add some reflective tape for nighttime visibility.
  • Include light sticks or a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Accessorize using face paint or makeup instead of a mask (as masks can block vision), and grab a pair of well-fitting and comfortable shoes. Make sure additional costume props, such as swords, are soft and flexible.

Follow the safest treat trail. Teach kids of all ages to practice these door-to-door rules all year ‘round:

  • Stay with the group. If the kids are under 12, a trusted adult should be part of the group.
  • Walk, don’t run.
  • Never go inside a house or apartment without a trusted adult.
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid any dark areas and all alleys.
  • Cross streets in groups, and remember to use the crosswalks.

Save treats so they can be checked out at home before their eaten, especially if food allergies are a concern.

If kids are old enough and mature enough to go trick-or-treating without an adult, make sure they carry cellphones and IDs, agree on the area where they plan to be, and set a curfew.

At the end of the evening, the best treat goes to parents and all those who care for kids: peace of mind that Halloween can be both safe and fun.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Coffey Communications