Trick ‘r Treating is one of the best things about Halloween. Everyone wants to get as much candy as they can get. The trick is managing the excitement of the holiday with safety. 

Being outside, in the dark, in clothing a person is not used to wearing can create some unexpected problems on Halloween Night. Add to this that there’s still cars on the road, and other people out who may not be celebrating Halloween at all, and it can’t hurt to up our safety antenna before All Hallows’ Eve is here!

Not all houses on Halloween are the same. There are many homes that don’t give out candy. Some houses don’t put up signs letting potential Trick ‘r Treaters know this. This is when everyone (parents and young people) have to use their decision making skills to decide if this is a house they should Trick ‘r Treat at. 

If the lights are off and the house doesn’t have any Halloween decorations on display, this is probably a home you shouldn’t visit. Instead, stick to houses that are well lit, have Halloween decorations up, and have their lights on. Chances are the people at this house are celebrating Halloween, and it will be worth everyone’s time to stop at this home.

As much fun as it is to get candy, snacking should wait until the candy has been taken home and inspected. When out Trick ‘r Treating, it’s probably going to be dark. Amidst all the moving around that’s happening, it’s hard to see things around all this excitement. 

The ability to examine the candy, how it’s packaged, if it has been tampered with, if it contains something that could trigger an allergic reaction, is extremely compromised. It’s better to wait and be safe, than potentially have a problem, eat candy you shouldn’t, and ruin your Trick ‘r Treating experience.

When out Trick ‘r Treating, young people should go out with at least one other person and always a trusted adult. Make sure to stay together and look out for one another. Trick ‘r Treating is a fun time and it’s easy for people to get excited, want to move on from house to house, and potentially “lose” somebody in the group. By being calm and alert, this will make it a fun and safe Halloween for everyone. In addition to always staying in groups, everyone should have flashlights. 

This will help illuminate the paths they are walking on as well as be able to identify people who are dressed up if the street lighting isn’t great. Lastly, having patience when you’re Trick ‘r Treating is very important. Since you’re out at night it is important to always stay with the group. Also, be respectful if some group members move slower, needs to tie their shoes, or just don’t move as fast as others. Halloween isn’t a race. It’s meant to be a fun time together. That mindset will make the experience funner for everyone.

Just because it’s Halloween, we’ve still got to follow the normal rules of street safety you would observe at any other time. Be extra careful at crosswalks and on the street in general. 

This means not running across the street no matter how exciting the evening is, looking both ways before crossing the street, and making sure that we are aware of how much traffic there is on the road. Not all drivers are responsible and on Halloween, when it’s dark and the streets are crowded, extra caution is necessary.

When choosing a costume, it’s important to choose something you’re going to want to be in while you’re Trick ‘r Treating. While this might seem like common sense, remember that Trick ‘r Treating lasts for at least 30 minutes to an hour… or more. Wearing a comfortable costume will greatly enhance the Halloween experience. 

Masks, while fun to wear for short time periods, might not be something anybody (young or old) wants to wear all night. Bulky costumes that hinder movement are the same way. This is why, as much as a person might have their heart set on going as a certain character in a movie or a pop culture icon, wearing their outfit as a costume for a prolonged period of time might not be the best choice.

While you, your kids or their friends might try on a costume for the big night, putting it on and taking it off quickly might not ensure a successful night of Trick ‘r Treating in it. While we’re not suggesting that you wear it to school before the big day, it should be worn around the house for at least 15-20 minutes to get used to wearing it. If there’s a chance the costume has to be taken back to be exchanged for a different size, make sure that this is allowed under the store’s return policy. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a costume nobody is going to wear because it is undesirable to have on.

After a great night of Trick ‘r Treating, before delving into all that delicious candy begins, make sure to have a parent inspect the candy that’s been received. They will check to make sure there’s nothing weird on or in the candy, and that it hasn’t been tampered with. An adult might notice something about the candy that you do not. Once that’s done, the candy should be sorted between candy with nuts and candy without nuts. This will prevent anyone with a peanut allergy from eating it. Lastly, be grateful for ANY candy received. When going to different houses you’re most certainly going to get a treat you don’t like. Be polite, say “thank you”, and move on to the next house. 

Some people don’t have a lot of money so they can’t give out big pieces of candy or more than one piece to each Trick ‘r Treater. Practice saying “thank you” so that it becomes a routine habit when the big night comes. It will be appreciated by the person receiving it, and it will make the person saying it feel good. Getting any treat is a good thing and chances are everyone will come home with more candy than they can eat!

Halloween is one of the funnest times of the year. It is that rare occasion where you’re allowed to have a little more candy, and we can dress up as our favorite character from movies, TV, books or whatever else we like. If we follow some simple safety guidelines such as knowing which houses to go to, sorting our candy, being patient, following street safety rules, choosing comfortable Halloween costumes, and being grateful, it will make this special holiday even better!

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