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Top 7 Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

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In less than a week, kids of all ages will take to the neighborhoods, shopping malls and other spots to go trick-or-treating. Next to Christmas, Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year for kids.

Let your kids run around in costumes, score mountains of candy and stay safe by following these Halloween trick-or-treating safety tips.

Accompany children under age 12. If you have children under age 12, trick or treat as a family. Kids over age 12 should trick-or-treat in groups in familiar neighborhoods.

One local mom joins a group of parents and kids to take her 10-year-old trick-or-treating. They stick to their immediate neighborhood where they know their neighbors. She lets her 14-year-old son go door-to-door without a chaperone, but only with friends and only within a certain radius of her home.

Wear comfortable shoes. Little princesses should avoid heels. Choose comfortable shoes made for walking long distances. Double knot laces to avoid tripping.

Stay visible. Stick reflective tape on children's costumes and bags so drivers can see them.

Remember the porch light rule. Only visit homes with porch lights on. That's the sign that the homeowners welcome trick-or-treaters (and have candy!). When approaching any door, kids should always go in a group.

Inspect the stash. Before your child dives into his mountain of mini Snickers and Hershey bars, check the loot for damaged, opened or unwrapped goods. One local mom of a teen and tween also tosses any homemade goods. (And gives herself first dibs on the good stuff!)

Check the registry. It's unfortunate we live in a time when the police advise families to check the sex offender registry before trick-or-treating. But they do. You can search California's registry on its Megan's Law website.

Visit shopping districts and malls instead. Shopping malls, shopping districts, fitness centers and other public places also pass out candy and host fun trick-or-treating events. This is a great alternative to knocking on doors. Bonus: you can find events the weekend leading up to Halloween and on the day itself-multiple costume-wearing opportunities!

One Oakland single mom takes her five-year-old to the Temescal District. On Telegraph Ave., between 41st and 51st, merchants hand out candy and other treats. You can find more East Bay events on the {510} Families blog and a list of other Bay Area events on Red Tricycle.

How do you ensure a safe Halloween for your kids? Start the conversation on our Facebook page.

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David G. Smith, Attorney At Law
2201 Broadway
Suite 506
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 925-308-6484
Fax: 510-893-2701
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