Halloween is a blast, but it's also one of the most dangerous nights of the year for young children.
Here, health and safety experts offer tips for a fun Halloween.
* Carry a flashlight.
* Walk, don't run.
* Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.
* Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
* Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume).
* Don't cut across yards or driveways.
* Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
* Stay on the sidewalk.
* If there isn't a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
* Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape attached for visibility.
* Obey traffic signals.
* Cross only at corners.
* Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
* Approach only houses that are lit.
* Make your child eat dinner before setting out.
* Ideally, children of any age should be accompanied by an adult (even if Mom or Dad has to maintain a 50-yard distance).
* If older children are allowed to trick or treat unaccompanied, they should have orders for where they can go and how long to stay out.
* Children should carry quarters so they can call home if need be.
* If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.
* If you're not familiar with the homes you visit, consider having goodies X-rayed at hospitals offering the service free of charge.
* Although incidents of tampering are very rare, tell children to bring all treats home before consuming anything.
* Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect.
* Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
* Battery powered jack-o'-lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
* If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
* Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.
* Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later.
* Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.
* Go slow, slow, slow all evening. (Adult Halloween partyers should have a designated driver.)