From the candy to the ghouls and goblins, this time of year is a fun time for kids and parents.

We want to make sure this year's trick-or-treat festivities are fun and safe for all.  Follow these simple safety tips courtesy of Kids Health:

Keeping Costumes Safe

  • Choose light-colored costumes these can be easily seen at night. Add reflective e or glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back of the costume and to the trick-or-treat bag.
  • Only buy a costume that is labeled "flame-retardant." This means the material won't burn. If you are making your own costume, use nylon or polyester materials, which are flame-retardant.
  • Make sure wigs and beards don't cover your kids' eyes, noses, or mouths.
  • Kids shouldn't wear masks —most masks can affect a child's ability to see well.  Instead use face makeup but test and read labels to make sure it won't irritate your child's skin.
  • Attach a name tag — with your phone number — on your children's costumes.
  • Make sure the costume fits well which can help prevent trips and falls.
  • Keep swords, and any other props for costumes rubber and flexible.
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Trouble Free Trick or Treating

  • Accompany young children (under age 12). Make sure they know how to call 911 in case they get lost. Check to make sure they know their home phone number.
  • For older kids who are trick-or-treating on their own, find out the route they'll be taking and when they'll be coming home. Also be sure that they:
    • carry a cell phone, if possible
    • go in a group and stay together
    • only go to houses with porch lights on and walk on sidewalks on lit streets (never walk through alleys or across lawns)
    • walk from house to house (never run) and always walk facing traffic when walking on roads
    • stay away from candles and other flames
    • know to never go into strangers' homes or cars
    • cross the street at crosswalks and never assume that vehicles will stop
  • Kids should have a flashlight and wear reflective clothing.
  • Stay in your neighborhood and stick to homes and people you know.
  • When your kids get home, check treats of all kinds, throw away homemade goodies unless they are from neighbors you know, and if wrappers are open toss those too.
  • Don't allow young children to have hard candy or gum that could cause choking.
  • Keep your home safe for trick or treaters.  Put pets away,  clear the yard and sidewalk leading to your home, and make sure that you have age appropriate candy for all children.
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Gobbling Down Halloween Goodies

  • Offer a filling meal before your kids head out to trick-or-treat so they won't scarf down too much of their haul.
  • Consider purchasing Halloween treats other than candy. Stickers, erasers, crayons, pencils, coloring books, and sealed packages of raisins and dried fruits are good choices.
  • Know how much candy your kids have collected and store it somewhere other than their bedrooms. Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled. Let kids have one or two treats a day instead of leaving candy out in big bags or bowls for kids to sample at will. Consider giving some of the treats away.

Take these quick and easy precautions to help your little ghosts and goblins have a hauntingly happy and safe Halloween.

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