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Five Tips for Enjoying Halloween Safely

kids in costumes .

With its spooky yet festive atmosphere, Halloween is a holiday like no other. It's also enduringly popular: The U.S. Census estimates that more than 40 million children trick or treat every year in the United States.

While Halloween may have its roots in ancient Celtic harvest festivals, today it is a family-friendly and child-focused event — though adults can have plenty of fun dressing up and attending costume parties too.

To help you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Halloween, let's take a look at five essential safety tips.

Dress for success

Halloween, for most families, involves walking on darkened sidewalks and streets. Bright or reflective costumes can help you stand out in an underlit landscape. If your costume isn't bright, consider using reflective tape on candy buckets or bags. If you purchase a store-bought costume, make sure it is flame-resistant. You should also exercise caution when walking with a mask, as they can restrict your line of vision.

Keep visitors safe

If you plan on staying home and playing host to Halloween visitors, make sure your paths, steps and walkways are well lit and unobstructed. Make sure your pets are safely secured, as the presence of multiple costumed visitors in one evening can be stressful for family dogs and other animals.

Carve your pumpkin the right way

Creating a fearsome jack o'lantern is one of the great joys of Halloween. Yet it's important to be careful when carving your pumpkin. While they can help with the design, do not allow young children to handle knives. You may also wish to consider using a flashlight in the pumpkin's interior rather than a candle to help reduce the odds of a fire.

Practice safety protocols when visiting homes

When trick or treating, it is advisable to travel in groups with flashlights and cell phones. Focus on homes with lights on, and always accompany young children as they navigate their Halloween route. Talk about your route before heading out. Make sure you cross streets at stoplights, obey all traffic laws and attempt to remain on the sidewalk whenever possible, and do not enter a stranger's home.

Wait until you're safely home to eat your treats

Once you've returned from trick or treating, examine all the items you've received under the light. To be extra cautious, eat factory-wrapped treats rather than those wrapped by a stranger. If you have young children, encourage them to eat it in a responsible fashion.

The takeaway

Festive, fun and mildly frightening, Halloween has something for everyone. Follow these tips to help ensure you and your family stay safe.

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