Before children start out on their “trick or treat” rounds, parents should:
Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
Establish a return time.
Make sure someone in the group has a cell phone.
Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address, and phone number inside a pocket in case your youngster gets separated from the group.
Make sure your child eats dinner before setting out and tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
Carry a flashlight.
Only approach houses that are lit.
Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
Stay on sidewalks, don’t run or cut across yards and driveways, cross intersections at established crosswalks and obey traffic signals.
Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know.
Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground and wear appropriate shoes that fit (even if they don’t go with your costume).
Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house. Make sure holes are big enough in the mask to see and breathe well. Consider wearing Halloween make-up instead.
Dress warmly. Make costumes with fire retardant clothing and reflective materials or tape in your costume.
Knives, swords, and other accessories should be made from cardboard or other flexible materials.
For Home Owners
To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, property owners should:
Check outdoor lighting and replace burned-out bulbs.
Remove anything from the porch or yard that children could trip over such as ladders, garden hoses, toys, flower pots, and lawn decorations.
Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
If you use lit candles inside pumpkins, place the pumpkin well away from where children will be walking or standing.
Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
If you must leave in a vehicle or are just returning home, watch for children darting out from between cars. Pay close attention for children dressed in dark clothing or walking on roadways and curbside.