From creepy clowns to trick-or-treating: 8 tips for a safe Halloween


Expect to see some creepy clowns. Because, well, it’ will be Halloween, and it’s become a thing.

But law enforcement warns that it’s the things we know as parents and guardians — and perhaps a few things we never considered — that could determine a scare-free holiday.

Here are eight essential tips so families can dispense with the heartache (or bellyache).

1. Light ’em up, up, up

Emergency crews will tell you that the most dangerous part of Halloween is when kids are crossing the street and walking from house to house. Outfit your trick-or-treater with a flashlight, glow-in-the-dark accessories and reflective tape, which can be found at Dollar Tree and Target.

2. Slow down

If you’re driving or even on foot, take it slow. Look for kids, dropped costumes and other hazards on the sidewalk or road.

3. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it

Ill-fitting costumes aren’t fun for the kids, but they’re also a big safety issue. Kids can trip or get caught by long capes or trains. A costume or mask can obstruct a kid’s vision, making it hard to see oncoming traffic and road/sidewalk hazards.

4. Watch what comes out, watch what goes in

Sort through the candy container and toss any candy with an open wrapper or anything that looks unusual. When it doubt, throw it out. Set limits about how much a child can consume in one sitting. Reading the labels if your child has an allergy goes without saying, but a child with food sensitivities also shouldn’t consume too much at one setting.

5. Home safe home

We make sure our kids are safe when they leave our home, but what about the kids coming to our house? Make sure the path to the doorway is clear. Replace burned-out garage and porch lights, trim back bushes or tree limbs, and fix or at least make it known if there are uneven sidewalks or walkways leading to your home.

6. Have the talk

Before setting out, discuss the dos and don’ts of trick or treating. Never enter a house or a vehicle, do say thank you, and don’t get grabby with the candy. Plan a route and discuss it with everyone before leaving the house, and stay with your group of family and friends.

7. There’s an app for that

Trick-or-treat tracker apps enable parents of older kids to monitor their trek through neighborhoods. FamilySignal comes equipped for Halloween with a visual map that allows you to see where in the neighborhood your children are and a “panic button” that will alert parents and authorities if needed. A free version is available through the iTunes app store.

Glympse has created a free app (available through the iTunes app store or Google Play) to track a trick-or-treaters’ movements for four hours.

If your child doesn’t have their own mobile device, consider these GPS trackers:

The My Buddy Tag is a $40 wristband that alerts parents when a child has wandered out of a set area or is under water more than 10 seconds. It also gives your child a “panic button” to push.

LG Electronics sells GizmoPal, which is basically an $80 wristband phone and GPS tracker that lets your child call up to two pre-programmed phone numbers and receive calls from four pre-programmed numbers.

Courtesy of The Republic