Preparing for Big Night
- Set a time limit for trick-or-treating
- Remind kids not to enter houses
- Try to get your kids to trick-or-treat while it is still light out. If it is dark, make sure the children are carrying flashlights or glowsticks.
- Make sure older kids go out with friends. Younger children should be accompanied by an adult. If you live in a rural area, offer all kids a ride in the car.
- Kids need to know not to eat their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while their still out is to feed them a meal or substantial snack beforehand.
- Check out all the treats at home in a well-lighted place.
- What to eat? Only unopened candy and other treats that are in the original wrappers. Don't forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious.
- Check that costumes are flame-retardant so the little ones aren't in danger near candlelit jack-o-lanterns and other fire hazards.
- Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.
- Encourage kids to wear comfortable shoes.
- Try makeup instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable and, more importantly, they can obstruct a child's vision - a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
- Make sure kids wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
Halloween is notoriously a night of pranks - toilet papering a house or filling mailboxes with shaving cream are not unusual. Try to get a handle on your children's plans before they go out. Explain to them that while you want them to have a good time, some tricks could hurt other people or vandalize property. Emphasize that you disapprove of vandalism.
- Welcome trick-or-treaters at your home by turning on your exterior lights.
- Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard to visitors.
- Ask your Neighborhood Watch or citizens' group to patrol the community.
- Drive slowly all evening - you never know what creature may suddenly cross your path.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your local police or sheriff's department.
For more information on Halloween safety visit the National Crime Prevention Council.