There’s no trick to keeping kids safe while getting treats, just common sense

As the end of October creeps closer, so, too, do trick-or-treat nights for local children.

How many who are now adults remember the excitement that came with putting on that Halloween costume and canvassing the neighborhood knowing you’d return home with a sack or bucket so full of candy you couldn’t possibly eat it all, even though that didn’t stop you from trying?

But even though trick-or-treat night is largely one of harmless fun, there are some dangers that could rear their ugly heads if proper precautions are not taken, including these suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

First of all, because trick-or-treating usually takes place after the sun has gone down, having reflective material on costumes is a good idea, especially if the costume is predominantly a dark color.

This makes anyone driving through the neighborhood — including those able-bodied souls who for some reason feel the need to drive their equally able-bodied children from house to house – more likely to see your kids and reduces the chances of an accident.

Kids should also try on their costumes before going out the door to make sure they fit properly and are not too long or loose, which could create a tripping hazard.

Unnecessarily long and loose costumes could also become easily entangled in brush or bushes and may even come into contact with open flames.

Parents should accompany small children as they trick-or-treat, but if older kids are going alone, it is advisable to plan the route beforehand and make very clear what time kids are expected to return home.

It is safer to remain in a group, stick to familiar, well-lit streets and use only the sidewalk or clearly-marked crosswalks.

Taking a flashlight along for the night is also a good idea.

And once children return home with their goodies, no treats should be eaten until a responsible adult has checked to make sure no wrappers have been tampered with and the candy is safe to eat (which, of course, can only be done via taste test!).

With a little bit of common sense and planning, everyone can enjoy all trick-or-treating has to offer.

We hope everyone who chooses to participate has a safe and happy Halloween.