“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”  Trick-or-treating is fun for kids of all ages, dashing and darting from house to house filling up their pumpkins with mounds of treats and dressing up in scary costumes.  But, before you take your kids trick-or-treating for Halloween – before they become hopped

up on sugar and unable to hear adults speak, map out the rules of trick-or-treating.  The following rules could save your little ghouls from serious injury.

-Never go inside someone’s house. Remain on the stoop or porch at all times.
-Do not go into a stranger’s automobile.
-Do not take shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.
-No running…Walk don’t run.
-When crossing the street look both ways. Do not cross in between cars.
-Always use the sidewalk.
-Trick-or-treat on well-lit streets within your neighborhood.
-Children should always travel in a group.
-Use the buddy system, and make sure you have at least one buddy with you the entire evening.
-Do not eat any candy before mom and dad can check out your stash.
-Never eat homemade or unwrapped treats.
-Children should carry spare change in case of an emergency and they need to call home.

The Phoenix Fire Department also has a message fore parents:
-Do not allow your child under 12-years-old trick or treat without an adult.
-Do not use open flame candles in jack-o-lanterns. Commercially available battery lights are much safer and do not pose a fire hazard.
-Parents should never let their children carve a pumpkin unsupervised.
-Do not hand out homemade or unwrapped candies to children.
-Parents should plan a route for your child to use while trick-or-treating and set an early return time for your child.
-To welcome trick-or-treaters, switch on your porch lights or any exterior lights.

Some important costume tips:

-Make sure your costume is flame-retardant
-Children should wear white, reflective clothing, or use reflective tape and carry either a flashlight or glow stick.
-Avoid baggy or loose fitting costumes with over-sized shoes-tripping hurts.
-Do not stand next to an open flame while wearing costume.
-Encourage children to wear face paint as oppose to a mask. If mask is worn, make sure that the eye, mouth and nose openings are large enough to ensure adequate breathing and full range of vision.
-Children should never carry sharp objects. Ensure that all props are made of material that is flexible and nonrealistic looking.
*REMEMBER – A flame-retardant costume does not mean that it is fire proof. Always keep your costume away from any type of open flame or other heat sources.

Driving on Halloween can be a dangerous:

-DRIVER SLOW! Be aware of children darting out between parked automobiles.
-Use caution while entering and exiting driveways.
-During twilight and evening hours be mindful of children in dark costumes.

Kris Dugan