S Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. Whoever heard of a 10 year pirate with a 4 inch nerf knife? Instead, get that cool looking, costume-related weapon from your local department store and don’t hit anyone with it! If you can’t handle not hitting people, go as a princess (again).
A Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. They’re partially right on this one. Go with a group of friends – it’s tons of fun! But parents only belong driving or with the little ones. Talk an older sibling into letting your friend and you roam the neighborhood with the big kids or let your parent chauffeur you to the corner of a block and wait for you in the car while you have your fun. If you'll be hanging with the big kids don't be a brat - act like a big kid or you won't be invited back next year. Also, please ask your parent to not run over any of the other trick-or-treaters.
F Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. Not really a bad idea if you have some reflective tape hanging around and don’t mind what it will do to your costume. A flashlight will do the same thing and let you see where you’re running while drivers see you. Keep it turned on and use new batteries. Or better yet, buy a helmet with a headlamp in it!
E Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat. Yes, make sure your treats are safe before cramming them all in your mouth. Eat them all in a 24 hour period. Extending the sugar high over the period of a week or more exposes your teeth to cavity-inducing sugar over a longer period of time while filling you up with unhealthy, refined sugar. Do it fast and get it over with.
H Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house. We already covered the take a flashlight issue – make sure your batteries are brand new so they last the whole time. Run to the next house. Yes, you might fall if you aren’t careful but if you walk you are sure to get pushed down or knocked over by all the other kids – because they’re running. Don't run into the street on Halloween unless you have a personal death wish you are hoping to fulfill.
A Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation. Just the use make-up and get out the door. (Everybody has a good rash story from when they were a kid.) Don't use your mom's best make-up unless you have a death wish. (Never mind, don't use your mom's best make-up, period. If you have a death wish, see above regarding running the street. Don't leave your mom without any decent make-up to wear to your funeral. That's just mean.) Take if off before bedtime so you don’t wreck your sheets and make your mom mad.
L Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible. Yeah, do this one. A squished kid is unattractive any time of the year.
L Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses. If you want to wear decorative contact lenses, purchase them from your optician or ophthalmologist to ensure they are legit and safe. Don’t buy the sketchy stuff from ebay.
O Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe. It’s Halloween. Drivers are watching out for you. Stay out of the roads and look before crossing the street. But running across lawns to get to the next house is fair game. Just take care and use your common sense.
W Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls. Have these people never heard of hand-me-down costumes? Wear the costume you have and ask your parents to fix anything that tends to slip off. (Naked Trick or Treaters rarely get the candy.) Masks are a drag because they limit how much you can see (i.e., peripheral vision). If you choose to wear a mask, have a wing-man to help you see or plan on being one of the slow kids that get knocked down. Wear tennis shoes (and warm socks if it’s cold outside) to maximize your staying power.
E Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers. Check out Snopes.com to read about how this is entirely wrong-headed. (We suspect rumors of poisoned candy and razor blade apples were fabricated by the candy industry to wipe out the competition.) Eat the apples you get – they’re actually healthy! If there is a shady neighbor who poisons dogs and small children – avoid the house. If a neighbor shows up on the sex abuser registry – avoid the house. But homemade donuts and root beer can be part of the fun and a very cool part of Halloween! Don’t let rumors ruin Halloween and, if you read Snopes, don’t take factory-wrapped candy from your parents. Hahaha
E Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers. Let’s change this rule. Don’t enter houses. Period. That cuts down on your candy collection period and this time is already a very small window of opportunity. Only stop at dark houses if they are set up to scare you and you’re up for the fright. A lot of people set up a spooky house for your entertainment – not to kill you. All other houses are dark because they’re out of candy or they ate all of their candy before you got there. Never accept rides from strangers - and if you do, don't let them take you to their house, for goodness sake.
N Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes. Let your parents worry about whether your costume is “safe enough” for Halloween. Don’t light yourself on fire (and don't light your friends on fire, either).
Now get out there and use your common sense to have a candy-filled, Happy Halloween!