They'll be so happy -- not to mention hopped up on sugar -- that they won't even miss going door-to-door.
No. 2: Pick a safe costume
While kids' costumes ideally should be made of a light-colored material, whatever the color, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends adding some reflective tape for an extra measure of safety.
The CPSC also suggests all costumes and accessories such as masks, beards and wigs be flame resistant. And if you are making costumes at home this year, choose inherently flame-resistant fabrics, like nylon and polyester.
To further limit fire danger from candles and jack-o'-lanterns, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
When trick-or-treaters are going out at night, the worst thing is a mask that restricts their vision, the CPSC says. Parents should consider widening the eye holes on masks or use face paint instead.
Lastly, when it comes to swords, knives and similar costume accessories chose ones that are flexible and made of a soft material, not rigid or sharp.
No. 1: Prepare your kids before heading out
Remember that there is safety in numbers. If you have older kids who are going door-to-door without you on Halloween, be sure they travel in small groups, only knock at well-lit houses and never go inside houses unless a trusted adult is along.
Given that texting has practically replaced talking as teens' chosen form of communication, you shouldn't have any trouble convincing them to stash their cell phones in their costume -- Hey, vampires and zombies need to stay connected too, right? -- in case of an emergency.
It's next to impossible to stop kids from snacking from their treat bags on Halloween, but ideally you want to check their candy before they start eating it. So try to eat dinner early or give them a snack before heading out.
Finally, establish a curfew for older children and stick to it.
And when everybody gets home safe and sound, don't forget to take your cut of the candy stash. You've earned it.
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