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Halloween Safety Tips for Crofton Kids

Crofton kids will be out trick or treating tonight, so it seems like a good time to re-publish this post from last year:

Keep the REAL spooks out of your children’s Halloween night by taking these precautions.

Halloween in Crofton1.  Accompany children when they go trick-or-treating – If they’re a little older, stand back so you’re not “lurking”, but don’t let a pedophile take advantage of this great opportunity to troll for vulnerable kids.  Adolescents are not too old to be at risk on Halloween or any other time. (You might want to check the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, and avoid those residences when you take your children trick-or-treating  There are eight registered sex offenders in the Crofton 21114 zipcode, thirteen in Odenton 21113 and four in Gambrills 21054 as of 10/28/2008.)

2.  Encourage children to go trick-or-treating in small groups.  If the group is too large, you might lose count if one is missing.  My grandkids love it that their parents dress up in costume, too, but other kids may wish the adults to be less visible.  Make this decision in advance, to avoid last minute hassle and controversy as you leave to go trick-or-treating.

3.  Make sure that your children’s masks don’t restrict their vision.  You don’t want them to trip and fall, bump into things, or be oblivious to what is around them.

4.  Dress your children in costumes that will be visible in the dark.  Black costumes may be Halloween-spooky, but they put children at risk crossing the street.  Even when children are safely on the sidewalk, you want them to be visible to someone backing out of their driveway.

5.  Enforce a strict rule of “No testing the treats ‘til you get home” so you have an opportunity to look them over for obvious tampering or ingredients to which your children may be allergic.  Frankly, when my kids were young, I replaced many of their treats with candy I provided for those very reasons.  Reading this may be the first time they know that and, as parents themselves now, I’m certain they are just as safety-conscious of their own children’s well-being. 

By the way, if you give your kids a big dinner before they go out trick-or-treating, they’re less likely to eat candy before they get home.


What are your favorite Halloween memories?  They may involve visits to a favorite house in the neighborhood, where you were always greeted by a warm friendly person who complimented your costume.  Why not be that type of Halloween host to kids in your neighborhood, now that you are an adult?

Halloween costumes1.  Be a good neighbor and turn on your porch light to welcome Trick-or-treaters to your home.  Consider dressing in costume, and always comment on children’s costumes.  If your home is decorated for Halloween, even better!

2.  Confine your pets so you don’t have to worry about them escaping out the open door or being frightened by children in costume.  Speaking of being frightened, you don’t want your dog to bark at the Trick-or-treaters and scare them.

3.  Keep candy away from your pets, especially chocolate, since it is not good for them and could even be poisonous to them.

4.  If you have to go out in your car, be especially careful and watch out for children who may be crossing the street in the middle of the block rather than at the corner.

5.  Consider packaging your Halloween Candy in a ziplock bag with your business card.  Parents will feel safer about your treat, knowing it came from you, AND they may save your business card for future reference.

PHOTO:  Tim, his wife Christine, and my grandchildren Meghan and Matthew  (Halloween 2006)

Copyright 2007–2008.  All rights reserved.  Margaret Woda

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