When I was a kid (a long, long, long time ago), Halloween was a fairly laid-back holiday. You dressed up, you went trick-or-treating, and you were in a sugar coma in no time. My parents even let us trick-or-treat alone when I was fairly young, , and no one worried much about allowing such freedoms. These days, though, it just doesn’t feel nearly as carefree to walk around after dark, knocking on strangers’ doors, and eating anything they offer you. Not to mention, I can’t foresee letting my own son trick-or-treat by himself until he’s about the age when he’ll no longer want to trick-or-treat. Works for me!

But, parents can find a happy balance of having fun and being careful this Halloween. With these tips, you can have a memorable, fun-filled, safe holiday.

  • Research! One thing my childhood didn’t have was a wealth of handy resources. These days are different! Check out your local paper, local blogs, etc., for information on safe, well-lit, busy neighborhoods to choose for trick-or-treating. It’s certainly okay to go to a new neighborhood, where you don’t live.
  • Trick-or-treat in a large group. Gather a nice-size group of parents and kids and choose a central neighborhood for everyone to meet. Strength in numbers.
  • Be smart about costumes. It’s easier to keep track of your kids if you can see them. So, choose or approve costumes that are easy to spot, don’t cover the entire face, and aren’t so common. Your son or daughter could be one of a dozen Doras out and about.
  • Opt for an event, rather than traditional trick-or-treating. Going door-to-door is tradition, sure, but the goal is the same, regardless the vicinity: CANDY! So, maybe move your Halloween festivities out of a neighborhood and into a community event. In DFW, check out Boo at the Zoo, Treat Street at the Fort Worth Stockyards, and the Fall Family Fun Weekend at the Dallas Arboretum, to name a few. Lots of fun and plenty of candy, regardless the location!
  • Set a few candy/food guidelines. Even years ago, when Halloween seemed safer, there were candy standards that helped everyone celebrate safer:

1. Toss out anything with an open wrapper.

2. Pass on homemade goodies, if prepared by someone you don’t know.

3. Moderation! Monitor your kid’s stash and allow just a few pieces at a time.

  • Have fun. Okay, this isn’t necessarily a safety tip, but Halloween comes around once a year, and it should be fun. Be safe, be smart, but enjoy the holiday most of all.

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