Six children in costumes trick or treating at woman's house

Before your ghosts and goblins suit up for a night of trick-or-treating, here are some ways to keep your little ones safe this Halloween:

  • Avoid costumes that block vision. A better, safer option is to decorate your child’s face with face paint or make-up.
  • If you decide to disguise your child with make-up instead of a mask, use hypo-allergenic options and keep it away from the eyes. It’s a good idea to carry a wet towel or washcloth in case the make-up begins to run while trick-or-treating
  • Don’t allow sharp objects to be used as props.Sharp, pointed props endanger your child eyes as well as the eyes of other children.
  • You want your child to be seen, especially crossing streets in the dark. Place reflective material on the front, back and sides of your child’s costume.
  • False eyelashes should only be applied and removed according to the manufacturers instructions on the products package.
  • Carry a flashlight. The “glow sticks” that children often carry around with them while trick-or-treating or at Halloween parties are filled with a chemical that causes eye irritation.

Believe it or not, it’s also not difficult to keep Halloween (somewhat) healthy. Instead of a sugar overload, here are some ways to keep the candy at a minimum:

  • The smaller, the better. Look for candy that’s labeled as “fun size” or “mini.”
  • Select candy that takes a while to eat like lollipops or sucking candies.
  • Buy value packs of sugarless gum.
  • Take advantage of the portion control craze and hand out 100-calorie snack packs. (Look for their super cartons at warehouse stores to save money.)
  • Stock up on 100% fruit chews.
  • Avoid candy completely; give out baseball cards, wacky packs, glow stick bracelets and necklaces.
  • Feed them real food first! Don’t send kids out trick-or-treating hungry. Make sure they have a full dinner before they take off on their journey. The hungrier they are, the more candy they will eat en route.
  • Get rid of additional sugar. Avoid all unnecessary sugar on the day of Halloween.
  • Omit soda, fruit drinks, sugar cereals and pancake syrup since you know they’ll be eating candy.
  • Everything in moderation: Allow your children to have a few pieces of candy when they get home from trick-or-treating. You may also want to have them count out ten extra favorites to save for the following few days. Then establish a system, perhaps one piece with their lunch and one after dinner.
  • Don’t let kids keep their candy stashes in their rooms. Storing the loot in the kitchen will allow for less unsupervised temptation.