Halloween doesn't have to be scary. Following some simple tips can help give parents—and everyone—peace of mind this trick or treat night.
- Young children should not be carving pumpkins—they can use markers or paint, but no blades. Slightly older children should only use a knife under adult supervision.
- Candle-lit pumpkins should not be left unattended, and care should be taken that leaves, bits of paper, or other flammable things don't blow in.
- Instead of candles, consider lighting jack o'lanterns with electric lights or glow sticks.
- All decorations should be secured so they don't pose a threat to trick-or-treaters or other visitors, block the door, or wander across the property line
- Never use indoor lights outdoors.
- Kids should be in light colors, if possible, or costumes with reflective tape. At the very least, they should be carrying something well-lit.
- Costume props and other accessories should be soft, particularly if designed to look like blades
- A costume with a cape or long dress is a potential tripping hazard, both for the wearer and for those near them.
- Makeup is preferable to masks, to keep peripheral vision clear.
- Test makeup on the skin beforehand, to look for potential allergic reactions. Makeup should be removed after coming home to avoid irritating the skin.
- Trick-or-treaters should plan a route and stick to it, keeping to well-lit streets.
- Group sizes should be small enough that it's possible for everyone to keep track of everyone else.
- Young children should be supervised while trick-or-treating, and should never go into someone else's house without a chaperone—or uninvited, of course.
- If there's a town curfew on Halloween, it should be obeyed.
- Treats should be checked over and rationed, not torn through in a single night. Unwrapped food should be tossed.
These tips can help kids and adults stay safe Halloween night, and make the holiday fun.