Everyone wants Halloween to be a fun experience, for themselves and especially for their children.
It is, unfortunately, a time of year when the fun and excitement of the celebration can get mixed up with tragedy.
More and more, parents are foregoing much of the door-to-door tradition of collecting candy, and taking their gruesomely â€“ or awesomely â€“ masked kids to neighbourhood parties or other organized group activities.
But if youâ€™re opting to include trick-or-treating in your childâ€™s Halloween experience, some reasonable preparations will help to ensure it is the foundation for happy memories.
First and foremost, trick-or-treating is more fun â€“ and a lot safer â€“ when it is a group activity. Share the fun with friends, and never go alone.
Donâ€™t just pick costumes and masks for their scary or dazzling qualities â€“ visibility is important, too. Make sure your kids can see easily from behind their masks, and ensure that their costumes keep them visible on the sidewalks and especially on the crosswalks â€“ which they should always use instead of jaywalking and darting through traffic.
In fact, it may be difficult with all the excitement of the evening, but try to slow those kids down a bit. Help motorists by mitigating the distractions of ghosts and ghouls jumping in and out of their headlights.
Only trick-or-treat at homes where you are welcome â€“ porch lights or lit pumpkins and decorations make the invitation obvious, while darkness is a clear indication that the homeowners donâ€™t share your Halloween enthusiasm.
And kids, donâ€™t dig into that windfall of candy until it has been inspected by an adult.
Unfortunately, over the years, it has become quite clear that, although thankfully rare, some of Halloweenâ€™s monsters are real.