Taking the Fear out of Halloween

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Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating:

Tips for safe trick-or-treating:

  • The single most important safety step is to make sure that children have adult supervision while trick-or-treating. If teenagers want to go on their own, make sure they go in groups, have a cell phone with them, and know where they are going.
  • Advise children to only go to the homes of people you know and stay in neighborhoods you know are safe.
  • Instruct children not to eat anything until it is brought home and you can inspect it. Look for signs of tampering, unsealed packages or puncture holes. Dispose of fruit, loose candy and anything that isn't in its original wrapping. Follow the National Safety Council's advice: "When in doubt, throw it out."
  • Bring a pocketful of treats from home for impatient trick-or-treaters who want to nibble a sweet on the way.

Alternatives to trick-or-treating:

  • Host a Halloween party in your home complete with costume contests, face-painting, craft projects, music, food and a scavenger hunt for treats. Give everyone a goodie bag on the way out. Better yet, make it a block party and get everyone on your street to participate.
  • Suggest a traveling Halloween festival. Start at your home for one activity and then visit nearby friends or relatives who have different holiday-themed fun pre-arranged at their homes. Children can also trick-or-treat at each scheduled stop.
  • Turn your home into a haunted house with scary decorations and music and invite the neighborhood kids over for thrills and chills.
  • Rent some scary movies, pop some popcorn and stay in for the evening. You can even get into the mood by dressing up and setting up bowls of candy for munching.
  • Stay home and have fun welcoming visiting trick-or-treaters. Offer something other than candy that might just get thrown out. Give inexpensive party favors, colorful pencils, stickers, erasers, comic books, or even promotional key chains and magnets with your company logo. (If you do give candy, some parents have suggested sticking an address label on each piece so parents know where their children got it and that it's safe.) --Bethany Kandel


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