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Despite the fact that Halloween in East Texas involves walking around at night amongst ghouls and witches, it really only takes a little common sense to make the night safe for everyone.

Here are five questions to ask so your entire family, even pets, can enjoy a safe and fun evening of trick-or-treating or handing out candy to others:
  1. Are we visible? Add reflective tape to costumes, clothing and candy bags to make it easier for drivers to see you and your group. That also goes for pets who are tagging along. Put reflective tape or flashing lights on their leashes or collars. Carrying flashlights and glow sticks is a good idea as well — they make you more visible and help you see better, too.
  2. How safe are our costumes? Costumes, including masks and shoes, should fit well to prevent blocked vision, trips and falls. Baggy clothing can also increase the risk of contact with candles. If you purchase costumes, make sure they are marked as flame-resistant. And accessories such as swords and knives should be soft and flexible.
  3. Where are we going? It’s best to have a plan before taking your kids trick-or-treating. You should only go to known neighborhoods and houses that have outside lights on, and children should never enter someone’s home unless an adult is with them. If you have older children going out on their own, have them tell you their plan.
  4. What are the kids eating? It’s always a good idea to examine the items your kids have collected before they dig in. And it’s not just about tampering, either. Be aware of choking hazards, too, particularly for young children. And remember, when it comes to eating treats, moderation is key.
  5. How are Fido and Fluffy doing? Even if your dogs and cats are just hanging out at home while you hand out candy, don’t forget about them. They shouldn’t eat candy at all, but especially chocolate, which can be toxic. Make sure candles are placed in areas where they won’t be knocked down. And remember that, depending on your pet’s personality, having people constantly coming to your door can be stressful. You might want to create a comfortable spot for them away from your home’s entrance.
With the right plan, you can make Halloween fun — and safe — for your little ghosts and goblins. And you can probably snag a little leftover candy for yourself, too.
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