There will be thousands of children out trick or treating on Halloween night. This holiday is the one in which they do not have to be on their best behavior. Younger kids like to dress up like their favorite villain, cartoon character, or ghostly being. Even though the night is meant to be one of fun and excitement it can also be dangerous for people who do not plan ahead to keep their children safe. If your child is planning to go out and trick or treat, remember to make a plan for safety. It is important to have fun but never at the risk of safety.

Choose a Safe Costume and Clothing

Halloween night safety starts with ensuring that your child has a costume and clothing that is safe. The label will say it is flame retardant. The government agencies that delineate safe standards recommend that your child wear light clothing that is bright and can be seen by drivers. Reflective tape put on the chest of the child and on the back of the child is an excellent way to meet this recommendation. When a headlight catches the reflective tape, the driver will immediately be alerted to the child. The masks and wigs should also be flame retardant and fit properly. The eye holes in masks should be large enough to allow the child to see in all directions without obscuring the view. All clothing , including key costume clothing, should fit well. Avoid costumes that are too long. These can cause the child to trip and fall. Shoes must be comfortable and fit properly. Don't wear heels. Make sure the makeup that your child wears is hypoallergenic and that your child is not allergic to it. Place a small amount on the child's hand before applying to the whole face. If the costume has a sword or knife as part of the outfit, it should be flexible and soft to avoid injury to your child or to another child.

Remember Traffic

A big, big safety problem for Halloween night is traffic on small neighborhood streets. The rule of thumb is for an adult to stay with younger children while they are terrorizing the neighborhood in their villain suits. Stay with younger children the entire time. If it is a neighborhood that you know well, you may allow the child to go to the door alone or with his group of friends. Use your good judgment about going to the door or not. But these younger children should not be allowed to walk on the streets alone. Older children, at your discretion and judgment can be allowed to walk with a small group along a route that you both know. Just to be safe, they may take the same route you go with the younger kids but are not required to walk with you. You will see them intermittently along the path. Select neighborhoods that have brightly lit streets and good sidewalks. If you do decide to go trick or treating in an area without sidewalks be sure to walk near the edge of the road and walk facing the traffic. When you go across the road, allow cars to pass first. Never assume you have the right of way because the people in the car may be preoccupied with their own Halloween activities and thoughts.

Which Houses to Target

The best practice is to allow your children to trick or treat in the neighborhood in which you live. This is because you hopefully, already know the people who live there. If this is not an option, consider targeting the neighborhood of the kids grandparents. This will kill two birds with one stone so to speak. The grandparents can see the kids and they can also brag to their neighbors about them. Plus the kids will target neighbors familiar to the grandparents. If you do plan to visit an unfamiliar neighborhood visit only homes that have a light on out front and the yard is well lit. Go to the door with small children. Avoid going in the house for any reason even if you think the home owner looks innocent enough. Do not accept rides with strangers. When you go up to a door, try to stay on the obvious pathways. If you get off into the grass you have a greater chance of tripping on objects. Even in well used pathways, you have the chance to fall or trip over objects such as toys, watering hoses, or tree limbs. Never approach a dog or other pet. If you see one, stand still until you see how the pet will react to you. Some pets can be very protective of their territory. If the pet seems to be aggressive, skip that house. Simply and slowly go back to the public sidewalk and stay away from any area which the pet may feel ownership over. Do not make any quick or sudden movements.

What's in that Candy?

When you and the kids have all made it back to the command center (aka house) safe and sound, pile up the candy and start inspecting it piece by piece. This is especially important if you went to a neighborhood that you did not know. Look for pieces that are choking hazards. Look for pieces that are loosely wrapped or other indications it has been opened and reclosed. Homemade treats should be thrown away unless you know the person who made them. Set limits on the amount of candy your children eat at one time. Too much candy can cause them to have stomach cramps or even vomit. Some children can have diabetic type reactions when they take in too much candy at one time. Use the candy as a treat throughout the next several weeks. Try to use it to teach your older children self discipline and personal responsibility by allowing them to select when and how much they should eat. Just remember to offer guidance and set limits. If the child is not taking their responsibility seriously then take the privilege away and go back to administering the candy on your schedule.