Halloween and Harvest celebrations can be great events as long as parents take steps to guarantee safety. Kids will be out in droves. Special rules apply as about 41 million kids will be on the streets, according to ConsumerReports.com.
They're out, they're excited, dressed in unfamiliar get-ups, and they are all over the place.
Children out trick or treating should go in groups, with parents, or with other adults you trust. Take along a flashlight if visiting houses after dark.
Your children should walk on sidewalks, or if sidewalks aren't available, they should be facing traffic as far from the road as possible. Don't let them go to houses in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
Do your bit at your own home by ensuring that your yard and front walk aren't obstacle courses in the dark. Lawn decorations, toys, bikes and hoses should be put away. Put on your porch light.
If you have a jack o'lantern or any other decorations with candles in them, keep the decorations well out of the way from where children will be walking. Don't leave candles unattended.
Keep any of your pets away from trick-or-treaters, so neither the animals nor the children get scared or injured.
If you're carving pumpkins for the holiday, make sure you're the one with the knife. Instead of letting kids carve, give them washable markers to decorate jack o' lanterns.
Kids love dressing up. When your children are decking themselves out for a night of fun, prevent mishaps and tears by making sure that masks, shoes and costumes fit well and are easy to move in.
If your child's costume includes play knives or swords make sure that they are not too big, and have no sharp edges.
For visibility's sake, go for costumes in bright or light colors. Reflective tape on your child's bags and costumes will let drivers see them.
Instead of masks, makeup for kids can be fun. It's a good idea to do a test on a small area before painting your child's face. It's no fun dealing with eye and skin irritations.
Be sure to look over all the goodies when your children get home. Make sure there are no treats that can cause choking or that may have been tampered with.