"It IS that time of year again kids, and adults. Halloween is just around the bend. Most of us have younger ones who are beginning to venture out into the public which can be scary. Maybe that's why Halloween is so intriguing to young people, its often their first experience in public after dark. Visuals are obscure and sounds may be completely foreign. As adults we all want our kids to be safe, at the same time there is no reason for us to overreact. There a few simple tips that will keep us and our young ones away from trouble and away from true fear. Here are some basics that have been researched repeatedly over the last three decades.

The first suggestion may be the easiest for those of us seeking sleep after a long day of work. GO EARLY, there is no rule dictating that you go after dark. Especially if you have young ones, around four to eight years old. They WANT to go in the daylight/evening light because they feel more safe and they get to see other kids their age in costumes. 

If your kids say they are going to a friends house, double check them on that. CALL the other parent and verify it to be true. Call again to check in if your kids are in junior high, I assure you that you are not being invasive, you are being responsible. (I'm not saying high school minors don't need to be checked on, but there is clearly a different level of concern with our emerging teenagers.) 

On the safety of candy from “strangers”. Now, I hate this one, but would be remiss if didn't put it in this article because it has become such an URBAN LEGEND. The point is, check your kids candy for dangerous stuff; including, but not limited to, razor blades, needles, pins and drugs. Finding anything harmful in your childrens candy is very rare, but there is no harm in double checking. Counting their candy and imposing a candy tax is a funny way for you to see what they got anyway.

Candy Corn, this may be a new one for you, but 'm telling you. DO NOT EAT CANDY CORN. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN EAT CANDY CORN. IT IS NASTY. It's made of carnuba wax, the same base wax as skittles, creates constipation, and is easy to hide needles inside of. It also offers no nutritional value.

Regarding costumes: homemade is coolest, most artistic, and probably cheapest if you can take some time yourself to work on the project. The major advantage is you can help to make it safe. Two main ideas are on either side of the visibility coin. The first is that you want your little one to be highly visible to those around them, secondly you want them to be able to see easily through their mask or costume to be able to view YOU, oncoming traffic, and potential threats. It can also allow for a great amount of time to be spent with your kids. I still remember making a Peter Pan costume with my Mom when I was under ten years old! Out of all of my costumes, that one was the best. Bright green for high visibility to drivers and nothing covering my face so that I could see easily.

So maybe we need some costume ideas, ones that are safe regarding fabric type for movement, reflectivity for drivers and adding a mask or not for personal visibility reasons. Pirate: Easy enough right? The keys are a brightly colored cap, striped socks, fake facial hair,and eyeliner. Skeleton: Black long sleeve shirt or even better use a hoodie. Add some white puffy paint for bones, there are also neon colored paints which can increase visibility and look great under a black light that may be on the porches of the candy gods. 

These simple and sometimes overlooked directions can help to keep you and yours safe, this way we can all enjoy a holiday such as Halloween.