Trick or Treating
• Smaller children should always be with an adult. It’s best to take little ones out early. If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first!
• Know what neighborhoods they will be in.
• Don’t allow them in areas with which you are not completely comfortable.
• Have the children stay in a group.
• Let them know what time to be home.
• Give them a cell phone to use if necessary.
• Use sidewalks.
• Cross only at the corners, never dart out between parked cars.
• Cover one side of the street at a time, no criss-crossing.
• Never go inside someone’s home unless it is a friend’s.
• Never accept a ride in a car.
• Only approach houses where the outside lights are on as a signal of welcome.
• Bring their bags home to be checked by an adult before eating a single treat.
• Children should carry a flashlight and their costumes should be bright-colored or have reflective tape.
• Be sure all parts of the costume are labeled flame retardant.
• Costumes should not have trailing material or tails long enough to cause falls.
• Pointed objects such as swords and devils forks should be made of soft material.
• If your child wears a mask, double check that the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly.
• Children should wear sturdy shoes and temperature appropriate clothing underneath their costumes.
• Use a small flashlight or battery-operated candle in pumpkins instead of an open-flame candle.
• Keep dried leaves and cornstalks away from all flames and heat sources.
• Only use flame-proof crepe paper.
Checking treats + welcoming trick or treaters
• Make sure your own home is well-lit and that there is a clear path to your door. Bicycles and lawn furniture can trip youngsters in the dark.
• Throw out anything that appears tampered with, home-made foods or home-packaged foods unless you are certain of the source.
• Inspect fruit closely and take away treats that may not be age appropriate. Young children may choke on things like hard candy or peanuts.
Information courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.