Yo. Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.
The recent cooler weather prompted my 11-year daughter, Katie, to begin decorating the house for Trick-or-Treat. Now when a visitor approaches our front door, the doormat delightfully screams Happy Halloween.
Whether you are a pro (like myself) or just beginning, safety should always come first when trick-or-treating.
Listed below are a few safety tips for the kids, along with handy tips for parents and homeowners.
- Always carry a light. If you are carrying a flashlight, have an extra set of batteries.
- Walk, DO NOT run. Don't cut across ditches, driveways or yards.
- Avoid walking in the street. It is safer to walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk on the street, always walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- Make sure your costume does not drag the ground. Wear some type of reflective markings or tape on the front and back of your costume.
- Shoes should be comfortable and fit well, even if they don't match what you are wearing.
- Avoid wearing a mask while walking. You can always put it on as you approach a house.
- Approach only houses with the lights on.
- Obey traffic signals.
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
- Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
- Only carry toy guns, knives, swords or other props.
- Stay away from strange people and animals.
- NEVER go inside a stranger's house.
- Do not eat any candy until you get home.
- Review all of the above safety tips with your children.
- Ideally, young children should ALWAYS be accompanied by an adult.
- Make your children eat something before hitting the streets. Hot dogs and chips have become a tradition at my house.
- Older children should carry a cell phone to call home if needed.
- If you are buying a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.
- If you are not going with the kids, map out a route for them to follow. You should know where they are.
- If you are not home, older children should know how to get in touch with you.
- Don't forget to give the kids a flashlight and watch (one that they can read in the dark).
- Tell children not to eat any candy until they return home, inspect wrappings carefully and throw out anything that looks suspicious.
- Turn your porch lights on to welcome ghosts and goblins.
- Use battery-powered jack-o-lanterns instead of lighting candles.
- If you use candles, keep them away from trick-or-treaters and animals.
- Make sure your yard is clear of all debris and other items such as ladders, hoses, flower pots, etc.
- Keep your pets away from the children.
- Keep cloth and paper yard decorations away from open flames.
- Choose healthy treats or non-food items such as stickers, pencils, erasers, coins, plastic rings, etc.
Instead of trick-or-treating, you may choose to take the children to a local fair or festival. Many churches, schools and malls plan special activities and events for Halloween.
On a lighter note, remember that what the kids want is to have fun and get candy. So relax and enjoy!
Writers note: For other tips on safety, costume and/or party ideas, go to your favorite search engine and type in Halloween.