Remember that the number one danger is simple...darkness! The first thing you can do is ensure that your children are readily visible. Go to your nearest dollar store and invest in a handful of glowing bracelets and necklaces. These are a simple, but effective way to make sure that vehicles will be able to see your children as they walk from house to house. It will also allow you to keep an eye on them a little easier.
The next danger is the fact that we use Halloween to go contrary to every safety fact we teach our kid... Don't talk to strangers. Don't take things from strangers. Don't go to a stranger's house. But it's the holiday spirit that causes us to violate these very basic standards. So how can we minimize that danger?
First of all, BE WITH YOUR CHILD. This may seem like a no-brainer if you have a little one, but even those that are starting to get a little older and independent are good candidates to stick near. The reason is simple, a child that is under direct adult supervision has immediately lowered their desirability as a target. Predators and other ill-willed adults tend to choose easier targets, i.e., children that are left to defend themselves.
Finally, when you return home and your little ghost, goblin, or witch wants to dive into their bag full of goodies, take a moment to go through it. This is a good time to individually examine the treats to make sure that nothing looks out of place. If you see wrappers that do not appear to be properly in place, discard those candies. You never know when somebody has decided to tamper with it. And if it happens to be your trick-or-treater's favorite, offer to buy a replacement.
Another good option is to offer your little ghouls a "candy buy-back" of some sort. Depending on their age, you may wish to buy back candy for 1 cent each, or maybe you pay $1 per pound of candy. Anything they want to give back in exchange for money or other rewards is a good program. This will keep them from having the dreaded sugar overdose that inevitably leads to them bouncing off the walls as you bounce your head off the table....
Happy Halloween to all and be safe out there!