Tips for keeping the little monsters safe


For all the aspiring gremlins, goblins, ghouls and ghosts, it’s almost time to dress up, visit your neighbors and collect some treats. But before you go, here are some tips to make sure that it’s a safe Halloween for everyone.

For trick-or-treaters

• Cross streets only at corners, and don’t dart out between parked cars. Stay out in the open, and don’t take shortcuts through alleys or backyards.

• Go only to houses where the lights are on — and go with friends, never alone.

• Accept treats only in the doorway. Never go inside someone’s home.

• Wear brightly colored costumes, or add some reflective tape to your costume or goodie bag. Carry a flashlight after dark, or wear a glow stick.

• Don’t eat any unwrapped, partially wrapped or homemade-looking treats.

For parents

• Make sure your child eats dinner or a good, healthy snack before going out trick-or-treating.

• Kids’ costumes shouldn’t drag on the ground. Store-bought costumes should be made of flame-retardant materials. Use nontoxic, hypoallergenic makeup on children’s faces.

• Check the candy after your kids get home — or when they want to dig into their stash. Make sure it hasn’t been opened before. If you’re not sure, throw it out.

Leftover candy? Some local dentists and orthodontists give out prizes or money for candy turned in to them. They, in turn, send the candy to our military overseas. (See www.halloweencandybuyback.com for more information.)

For drivers

• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.

• Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic. Turn on your headlights earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.

• Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility, and they may not be able to see your vehicle.

• Reduce any distractions inside your vehicle so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Don’t be spooked by Halloween, which can be one of the most fun nights of the year for the whole family. Use some common sense to stay safe, and have a hauntingly good time!