It’s sad to say, but Halloween is no longer the fun kid time of my youth. I remember dressing up as a ghost; you know, you would take an old bed sheet, throw it over your head, cut out two holes for eyes, and hope no one poked your eyes out. Or, if you were lucky, you went to the Big K and bought a costume–mine was C3PO from Star Wars. If you lived in the city, your parents would let you walk around the neighborhood with your friends, or maybe a parent walked with you, but more often, the group just walked together and no one bothered them.
Afterwards, your parents would take you to family and friends houses to trick or treat. You would get all kinds of goodies in your brown paper bag. Remember the one you spent drawing the jack-o-lantern or bats on, during art class at school? My favorite goody was the popcorn balls and caramel covered apples made by hand. You would go home and pour out your haul on the kitchen table and start to devour it. Now, those were the good old days.
Those days are long gone. Now you have to worry about every little thing, because if you don’t, Halloween could be a disaster that will haunt you the rest of your life. Hopefully, these suggestions will limit the problems you may encounter as you take your children out for a night of trick or treating.
When you are purchasing your child’s costume, remember to pick up some reflective tape to put on the costume or get a reflector bag for the candy; this will make your children more easily seen. Plan your route; only go to areas that you are familiar with. If possible, let your family and friends know when you are coming by. If you want to go walking in your neighborhood, take a flashlight and walk in well-lit areas. Never go to a house where you are not acquainted with the residents. Unlike the good old days, you can’t let your children go out by themselves. There are older kids that may want to play pranks on them, or worse yet, there could be adults that would do harm to your child. Even though you know the people you are going to visit, be careful of unwrapped treats.
If you are new to the area, you might need an alternative solution to the trick or treating activity. Let me make a suggestion; some churches and civic groups in the area will have a night of activities for the kids. This would be a good way to meet other parents with children of similar ages, and will most likely be in a safe environment for the children. In addition, these parties don’t “play up” the ghoulish, so your kids won’t get scared.
Regardless of which method you wish to use, please do not advertise that you are not at home on the social media, and be sure to leave some lights on.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Jim Doyle is still on the mend, so this week’s column is written by Brian Black, an employee of Madison Security Group.