1. Use face paint or makeup. Look for nontoxic and hypoallergenic makeup instead of masks, especially for very young children. Masks can make it hard for youngsters to see and breathe.
2. Wigs and beards shouldn't cover the eyes or mouth. Be sure headgear won't slide over the child's face.
3. Add reflective tape to costumes. Choose light colors. Be sure the costume is not too heavy for the child. Accessories such as wands should be soft and flexible.
4. Costumes should be short enough so the child won't trip. Sleeves should fit properly, as well. Avoid footwear that makes it hard to walk.
5. Use flame-resistant fabric for homemade costumes.
1. Travel in groups. Go only to the houses of people you know. Younger children should be accompanied by a responsible older person.
2. Carry flashlights.
3. Carry a mobile phone for quick communication.
4. Stay focused on your surroundings. If harassed or threatened, go into the closest store/restaurant and ask to use the phone. Call parents and/or police. Let the proprietors know that your group feels unsafe.
5. Be very cautious around jack-o'-lanterns with lit candles. Keep an eye out for flames and/or candles on porches.
6. Consider alternatives to trick-or-treating. Alternatives include house or school parties or volunteering at a haunted-house project.
1. Clear the driver's view. Be sure that neither the driver's costume nor anything else in the car obstructs the driver's view.
2. Wear a seat belt. Be sure your passengers are wearing a safety belt, even if they have to take off part of their costume to attach it.
3. Drive slowly and defensively. Don't assume that a pedestrian, especially an excited youngster in a costume, will move as you expect. Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters darting out from parked cars.
1. Replace burned-out bulbs in exterior lights. Leave your exterior lights on later than usual -- perhaps even all night.
2. Clear the pathway. Make sure the path to your door is well lighted and your lawn is clear of things that could be tripped over, such as jack-o'-lanterns with lit candles, ladders, garden hoses, flowerpots, bikes, and animal leashes.
3. Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and stairs.
4. Keep excitable pets away from the door. You'll have a safer and calmer house if you keep Fido away from where you are dispensing the treats.
5. Put your car in the garage. Lock your garage doors.
Instead of candy, offer these treats: