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Keep Kids Safe From Halloween's Ghouls, Goblins

We're letting you know some simple tips to keep the little ones safe this Oct. 31.

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? Because he didn’t have the guts, of course!

That’s right, it’s almost Halloween, and in some St. Louis-area neighborhoods, you won’t get a treat without a trick. You can sing or dance or tell a funny joke, but unless you’re a super-cute toddler, you might need to do a little something special to get your treat.

Savvy trick-or-treaters can prepare their acts in advance by finding plenty of good, clean Halloween jokes at GuySports.com.

Stay Safe on Halloween

Along with the fun of trick-or-treating, parents need to be concerned with their kids’ safety. While Halloween can provide hours of entertainment and serious candy benefits, approximately four times as many kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are killed while walking on Halloween night as compared with other evenings during the year, according to  a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Falls are another leading injury among kids on Halloween.

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

  • Trick-or-treaters should only visit well-lit houses, and they should never go inside unless they personally know the homeowners.
  • Adults should always accompany kids under 12, and if possible, trick-or-treat in a small group, as there’s always safety in numbers.
  • Older kids should have a pre-determined curfew. In many St. Louis County areas, kids under 16 need to be home by 11 p.m.
  • Parents and older kids should carry cell phones and know how to call for help if necessary.
  • Parents should consider adding smaller children’s names and phone numbers to costumes in case they are separated from the group during trick-or-treating.
  • If weapon-like costume props are needed, kids should use soft and flexible costume swords or knives, rather than sharp or rigid ones.
  • All trick-or-treaters and their parents should carry flashlights and stay on the sidewalks rather than crossing through yards.
  • To reduce the risk of accidents, streets should be crossed in groups at corners and crosswalks when available, and trick-or-treaters should never cross between parked cars.
  • Trick-or-treaters should avoid taking shortcuts through alleys or darkened streets.
  • When possible, kids should wear bright or reflective clothing that is also flame-retardant.
  • For smaller kids, consider using face paint in lieu of a mask, which could obstruct their vision and make them more accident-prone.
  • Take care to alter costumes that are too long to prevent tripping.
  • If you plan to hand out candy, be sure you clear your porch, sidewalk and lawn to prevent trick-or-treaters from being injured.
  • Consider having special treats for younger trick-or-treaters. Peanuts, gum, hard candy and small toys are choking hazards.
  • While none of the communites Patch serves in the St. Louis area said they had trick-or-treating ordinances or specific times for trick-or-treating, the general recommendation is to finish trick-or-treating by 9 p.m.

A Note on Poisoned Candy

While Snopes.com reports that it’s an urban legend that people randomly poison Halloween candy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Parents should always inspect the candy their kids bring home from trick-or-treating before it’s eaten.

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