These days, fewer and fewer young trick-or-treaters make the traditional trek up and down neighborhood streets in search of sugar-sweet booty, as parents, concerned about the safety of their children, instead choose a more controlled setting for Halloween night revels. But for parents who believe that Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without some old-fashioned doorbell ringing, the following safety tips should be heeded.
BEFORE your little devil, clown or princess goes out the door, be sure of the following:
Ideally, children should be accompanied by a parent or other familiar adult at all times. Otherwise, a responsible teen-age brother or sister should provide constant supervision.
Children should wear costumes that make it easy for them to walk, see and be seen.
Costumes should be short enough that they won’t trip.
Reflective tape should be attached to costumes so children may be seen by drivers.
Provide a flashlight for each child.
When possible, provide children with makeup instead of masks that may obstruct their vision. If a mask is worn, be certain the child removes it before crossing the street.
Plan the route in advance, choosing only well-lighted streets. When children are allowed to plan their own route, make sure they tell you of their plans in advance.
If it rains, plan to attend an alternate indoor activity, such as a school party.
WHILE you and your ghoulish charges are making the trick-or-treat rounds, be sure to:
Leave early so most of your walking takes place while there is still some daylight.
Remind everyone to stay on the sidewalk and to cross the street only at corners.
Treats should not be sorted or eaten until children return home and an adult has the opportunity to check the candy for signs of tampering.
Children not accompanied by their own parents should return home by a prearranged time.
AFTER your tired but satisfied gang of goblins returns home, you will want to: Throw away any candy or food that is not wrapped and sealed by a candy or food company.
Notify the police if you find candy or food that shows signs of tampering.