Whether you're celebrating Halloween on Saturday or Sunday this year, it's time to make sure you have everything you need for a safe night of tricks and treats. Now, I'm not trying to imply that Halloween is a dangerous holiday. As Lenore Skenazy points out in her clever post for the Wall Street Journal, Stranger Danger and the Decline of Halloween, no child has ever died from poisoned candy or been harmed by an otherwise neighborly neighbor simply because they were in a Halloween costume.

Still, since it's not every night that you send your kids out on the town to beg for food from strangers, so it makes sense to think about the details to avoid disasters later in the night.

  • Light 'em up: Flashlights (or glow sticks, or reflective tape) are must on Halloween. It's going to be dark (that's the point, right?) And no matter how well lit your roads are, kids need to be uber-visible to cars and other traffic.
  • Play by the rules: Do you know what time trick-or-treating starts and ends in your neighborhood? When we were kids, there were no set times for trick-or-treating, but that's not the case in most communities anymore. Many towns have curfews times for trick-or-treating, so play nice with your neighbors and stick to these times.
  • Give it the once over: Yeah, I know, no child has ever been poisoned by Halloween candy. Still, it's a good idea to give your kids' candy the once-over so that you have some idea what and how much candy they have.
  • Have fun! As parents, we spend so much time scouting out inherent dangers for our kids that we sometimes forget to just shake loose and have a little fun. Halloween is a great night for goofing around with your kids and for building community spirit as you go door-to-door with your kids. Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, breathe in the crisp fall air and enjoy walking around your neighborhood (or someone else's neighborhood) with your family.  
Happy Halloween!

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