It's that time of year again when ghosts, goblins, princesses and action heroes will be on a quest for the most candy on All Hallows' Eve. As adults, many of us have fond memories of trick-or-treating with our parents and pals when we were younger. Back then, we didn't think about our parents' worries as we left the house in costume, taking candy from our neighbors and friends. Sure, we checked to be sure we didn't accept any unwrapped candy at the end of the night, but that was likely the biggest concern. But now? There are so many worries. Please use our guide to ensure your child has a happy, safe and enjoyable Halloween.
Never Go Alone
Children under the age of 18 should always trick-or-treat in a group, and children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Especially when in costume, it's easy to get lost or turned around. You might even consider labeling your child's costume with contact information in case of emergency.
Especially for our trick-or-treaters who go out after dark, it's important they wear reflective clothing or light-colored costumes so that they can be seen in low-lit areas. You can even check with your local fire or police departments, because many give out free glow sticks that children can carry around at night. Parents should also carry flashlights and ensure children stay on the sidewalk.
While masks certainly can add to the creativity of your costume, many of them actually make it difficult for your child to see and breathe. Consider face paint or makeup as a creative alternative.
Don't Go Inside
Children should be educated that they should never enter homes of people they do not know. And, even if they do know the person (family friend, relative, etc.), their adult escort should always accompany them into the home.
Make it Routine
Especially for children who are trick-or-treating without an adult, there should always be a set path that they follow when out alone. This makes it easier for parents to find children if they miss curfew on Halloween and you need to retrace their steps.
Don't take Unwrapped Candy
Parents should always inspect Halloween candy before children eat it. If the candy looks suspicious - unwrapped, ripped, etc. - throw it away.