Make Your Halloween Safe and Spooktacular

October 28, 2011 | 6:00am

Monday is Halloween and San Diego County residents everywhere will see their neighborhoods overrun by monsters, superheroes, princesses and cartoon characters as children set out in search of an endless bounty of candy and treats.

It's important for both children and adults to remember several safety tips to ensure everyone has a safe and fun Halloween. San Diego County reminds you the biggest key to keeping kids safe is close parental supervision. Here are several trick-or-treat tips and precautions to help ensure a great time by all:

  Safe costumes: make sure your child's costume allows him to see and breathe properly.
  Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. There is safety in numbers.
  Feed children a good, healthy meal before sending them out trick-or-treating so they don't get hungry half-way through and start devouring their candy.
  Examine all treats for choking hazards or tampering before allowing your child to eat them.
     
  Healthy treats are encouraged. Boxes of raisins, packaged fruit rolls, packages of crackers and cheese or single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn all fit the bill.
  Always test any costume makeup on a small area of skin before applying to the entire area. Makeup may cause a rash or irritation. Always remove all makeup before bedtime.
  Look both ways before crossing streets. It's tempting for children to run across the street in the middle of the block, but always use corners or crosswalks.
  Light colored clothing is encouraged in costumes because it helps make kids visible to drivers. Reflective tape should be applied to all sides of the costume.
  Only approach homes that are well-lit both inside and out. Never allow children to enter a stranger's house.
  Watch out! Drivers, be extra alert on Halloween. You shouldn't use your cell phone or other handheld electronic devices while driving and it's a good idea to drive below the posted speed limits in neighborhoods, at least for this night.
  Each child should have a flashlight or glow stick if they are out past dark. It helps keep them visible.
  Enjoy your Halloween candy in moderation. Too much candy at one time can lead to a stomach ache. Too much sugar is also bad for your teeth.
  Never get in a vehicle with a stranger. Parents, teach your children to draw attention to themselves and yell loudly if they are approached by a stranger on foot or in a vehicle.