Here they come, little ones dressed as their favorite characters with bags and hands opened wide. Halloween is an exciting time for kids and to help parents and children have a safe night of Trick-or-Treating, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers these valuable tips.

Dressing up for Halloween Fun!

•       Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flames.

•       Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.

•       Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.  Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.

•       When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.

•       If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. Children can be hurt by these accessories if they stumble or trip.

•       Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

•       Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

Pumpkin Perfection!

•       Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers.  Then parents can do the cutting.

•       Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

•       Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Trick-or-Treating Time!

•       A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

•       If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.

•       Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

•       Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters to stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.

•       Carry a cell phone for quick communication.

•       Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.

•       If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

•       Never cut across yards or use alleys.

•       Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.

•       Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!

Candy Galore!

•       A good meal prior to parties and Trick-or-Treating may help discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though

•       Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

•       Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!