Halloween is again the time of costume parties and trick or treating, but as exciting as it can be for kids; these activities come with great risks. With Halloween-related activities here and there, it’s important that you don’t let your guard down. So before you allow your children to head out the door, make sure that the rules are clear and that safety issues are addressed.

Here are some ways on how you can keep your kids safe:

Make smart costume choices.

Opt for costumes with bright colors to ensure that they can be seen while they are on the streets at night. It may even be wise to attach reflector strips to their attires just to make sure that they are very visible while crossing streets. If not, you can have them carry glow sticks and flashlights. Choose make up instead of masks because these can impede visibility. Think about the safety of others and don’t let your kids carry props or accessories that are oversized or those with sharp edges. Costumes should also be flame resistant because jack-o-lanterns and candles are staples during Halloween. It’s also crucial that you choose a costume that’s appropriate for the weather in your area. You could never go wrong if you think about your kids’ comfort above anything else.

Remind your kids the golden rules of the road.

Set clear rules when walking on sidewalks and crossing streets. Teach them to stop at curbs and to look left and right repeatedly before crossing. It’s also crucial to teach your kids to listen to ongoing traffic and not to rely on traffic signs alone. Point out the need to use established crosswalks for crossing, and to avoid crossing streets when in between parked cars and other obstacles. When on the street, stress the importance of walking on the sidewalk facing the traffic.

Teach your children the tricks of the trade.

Let your children know that they should never enter the home of strangers unless they are accompanied by a trusted adult. Let them know that they should also not compromise their safety by wandering off alone or by walking in dark sidewalks. Likewise, children should skip houses that are not well lit. Discuss with your kids possible scenarios such as people forcing them to ride a car or enter a house. In any situation that they feel threatened, tell them to ask help right away.

Get older kids to go in groups.

Trick or treating is safer especially when older kids go in groups. Coordinate with your neighbors or with friends and family so that the kids can go together. Create a buddy system to ensure that not one member of the group will wander off alone. Never let younger kids go trick or treating with older kids without proper adult supervision. It should also be understood as to what time you expect the kids to be home.

Be choosy with treats.

Your kids will surely get plenty of goodies but make sure that you screen their loot first before you allow them to eat any of it. It’s not wise to let your kids eat homemade treats especially if you personally don’t know the cook. In the same way, throw away unsealed treats or those with torn wrappers.

With the fun that Halloween brings, safety should still be the top priority amongst parents. Kids can easily be distracted and they may forget about the rules altogether, so make sure that you are there to supervise them as they enjoy this time of the year.