Kids in their Halloween costumes (MCT Tribune)
Kids in their Halloween costumes (MCT Tribune)

Trick-or-treating is seen as a childhood rite of passage for a majority of Americans.

The problem with children’s involvement in this holiday is that they’re a very vulnerable group of citizens. They need to be protected, especially during a holiday where so many people are moving from place to place. Parents should stay vigilant from the moment their children walk out the door until they come home again in order to keep them safe.

“In general, the strategies parents employ to keep their kids safe should be customized to the type of threat they are concerned about,” Adam Lankford, criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, said. “That very much depends on the age of their kids and the characteristics of the neighborhood where they may be trick-or-treating.”

While it might seem like children are the only ones who need to be safe on Halloween, it’s necessary to think about the people who are driving around.

“Adults should make sure to drive extra safely on Halloween,” Douglas Klutz, criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, said.

Letting children go out by themselves might seem tempting, but it’s something that should be avoided. Regardless of how mature children seem, parents should find a way to tag along with them.

“Walk with them as they go,” Barry Lincoln, the owner of Mr. Lincoln’s Costume Shoppe, said in an interview with WREG, a CBS affiliate in Memphis, Tennessee. “You never want to let a child go by himself.”

Looking through kids’ candy to see if there are any objectionable materials mixed in is another way to keep children safe. The myth of people slipping dangerous things into the candy they give out to children has been sufficiently debunked, but sorting through candy is recommended for parents who have kids with dietary concerns.

The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) started The Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014. This project involves people who put teal pumpkins on their patios. These pumpkins signify that the homeowner is giving out healthier candy options for children who have allergies or other health concerns.

Halloween parties are common and happen all over the country. The rules for throwing these events are the same as any other kind of special occasion—its best to only invite close friends and work to maintain control of the guest list.

Staying safe on Halloween is a just mix of common sense and taking extra precautions.

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