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Halloween can be a fun holiday for the entire family, particularly for our kids, if it’s celebrated in a safe, smart way. Here are some tips for how to keep your home and kids safe during Halloween.

1. Be smart with your decorations

Scary is okay, but dangerous-scary is not. Remember, Halloween is supposed to be fun, so don’t use real knives or swords. Keep in mind that young children will probably be seeing your displays, so make sure you’re not putting things up that shouldn’t be seen by little eyes. Don’t forget to protect your home as well! Avoid using real candles, closely monitor fog machines, don’t overload electrical outlets, and make sure that decorations are secured properly. You don’t want the head of your hanging ghost falling on some innocent trick-or-treater!

2. Serve allergy-friendly candy or toys

Many kids these days have allergies, so it’s polite to keep this in mind as you pass out treats. Buy allergy-friendly candy, keep peanut candy in a separate bowl, or pass out small toys like yo-yo’s and mini playing cards instead. If you’re the one making the rounds with your child, make sure if you are aware of the candy they are receiving and eating as well.

3. Go door to door with your kids

Chances are if you’re sending your kid out to trick-or-treat, you’ve already told them to stick to kid-friendly neighborhoods. your kids should be safe. But it’s smart to go house to house with your child anyway. While foul play is unlikely, your child will feel more secure if you go with them as they talk to strangers and interact with other children.

4. Keep the front of your home well-lit and clutter-free

Many homeowners turn off their lights to make things more “spooky,” but this can present a hazard to trick-or-treaters. They need to be able to see your walkway, the steps leading up to your house, and your face when you answer the door. So leave some lights on, and make sure the pathway from the street to your house is clear.

5. Set a cutoff time

Decide ahead of time how late you will be passing out candy.  It’s not particularly safe for children to be out and about late on any night, in particular, Halloween, and you want to encourage trick-or-treaters to go home and be safe. So around 9 pm (or whenever you decide to call it quits) turn off your porch lights, lock your door, and turn off any sound effects or “moving” Halloween displays on your lawn. This will communicate to trick-or-treaters that you’ve “closed up shop” for the night.

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