Do your part to make Halloween fun and safe

Thursday, October 18, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas, everyone knows that doesn’t start until November. The truly most wonderful time of the year is definitely the Halloween season, where you have no family obligations and the only social obligation is to keep a bowl of candy next to the door, and considering you get to keep any candy that’s left at the end of the night, it’s not bad at all.

However, during the night of Halloween, caution, vigilance and common sense are required. There will be kids of all ages and even some adults wondering around in the dark, following paths that are only illuminated by the street and porch lights, there will be adults driving around neighborhoods buzzing with trick-or-treaters and there will be a few people who may not be participating in the events of the night. Knowing what to look for and what to do to keep kids and parents alike safe is of utmost importance, and luckily, there is plenty of advice on how to do just that from a bunch of different sources.

Many parents may be aware of some of the more common safety tips, such as making sure to look both ways when you cross the street, wear something reflective and trick-or-treat in groups, but there are some other things that parents might not think about.

Safe Kids Worldwide, a child safety advocacy group, publishes tips for both kids and adults on their website to stay safe on Halloween. Some of these tips include using face paint for a costume whenever possible because a mask could obstruct someone’s vision, teaching children to always cross the street at corners and cross walks and make eye contact with drivers so that they know it is safe to cross and, probably most important, put electronic devices down and look where you’re going.

Also, children should not trickor-treat at any house where the porch light is not on or it is obvious that the residents are not home. Unlit jack-o’-lanterns can also be a sign that a house is closed to trick-or-treaters for the rest of the night.

While kids should be focusing on staying safe and gathering candy, the adults also have a part to outlines several steps that adults should take to keep their kids safe. These tips should be taken seriously and practiced by every adult with trick-or-treating children.

These tips include getting on your state’s official website to check for undesirable people, such as sex offenders, in your area and plan your child’s route accordingly, reminding your child to check in with you at regular intervals if you will not be with them, set a time for your kids to be home and make sure your kids eat a filling meal before heading out for the night so they aren’t tempted to eat too much candy.

Lastly, particularly aimed at older children, make sure you know the difference between a prank and vandalism. Many cliche “pranks” that are portrayed in movies, such as throwing eggs or toilet paper, may be considered vandalism and could land you in serious trouble.

As a general rule of thumb, anything that causes damage, or takes a substantial amount of time, money or resources to repair, clean or correct is most likely vandalism.

Halloween can be great fun for everyone involved, as long as we’re all looking out for each other. While the explicit goal of the night is to collect as much candy as possible, there is the unspoken objective of making sure everyone gets home at the end of night, so let’s all play our part in that.

Now, in the interest of knowing what to look out for and a fun bit of side trivia, here are the top five costumes for kids, adults and pets, according to

For the kids, the most popular costumes of this year are looking to be a princess, a superhero, Batman, a Star Wars character or a witch.

For the kids at heart, a.k.a. adults, the top five costumes are a witch, a vampire, a zombie, a pirate or an Avengers Character (not including Spider-Man).

Finally, for the pets who like to celebrate the holiday, the top five costumes are a pumpkin, a hot dog, a bumblebee, a devil or a cat (for a dog costume) or a dog (for a cat costume).

Contact Hunter Herbaugh at