Halloween: that one night children look forward to in which we allow them to mask their true identity, approach strangers’ houses and accept candy from them.

On the whole it doesn’t sound safe, but we’ve been doing it for years, with a few safety guidelines to keep everyone safe, such as:

  • Even if your children are in their own neighborhoods, travel in groups to  decrease the chance of isolated incidents with strangers. If there’s parts of the neighborhood you don’t trust, mark them as  off limits for your youth to travel in that could help deter being a victim of crime. Know the route they’re taking.
  • If going out after dark (it’ll be dark by 7 p.m.), send them out with flashlights, glow sticks or bright costumes to be plainly seen. Costumes should be made so they can walk, see and hear freely.
  • Walk on sidewalks, and cross streets only at crosswalks (that are lit by street lights, if possible) after looking both ways.
  • Do not let them eat any collected treats before inspecting them. Only let them eat pre-packaged candy and treats; avoid anything homemade.
  • Consider using  GPS phone apps to communicate your children’s whereabouts and safety until arriving home.
  • With the prior showing of movies such as “IT” and “The Joker”, expect an increase of the wearing of clown like faces and costumes this year. Consider a comfortable return time for your children to be home that will help decrease unwanted encounters.
  • Notify law enforcement of suspicious activity or actual crimes in progress immediately. 

Despite the presence of pumpkins (and your pumpkin spice lattes), it’s going to be a warm one. Temperatures will still be in the lower 80s by sunset.