Make Your House Safe for Halloween Trick or Treaters

I’ve read plenty of articles about how families with kids can be smart and safe during trick or treating as they visit houses for candy, but I feel the need to write about how the people who pass out the candy can make the parents and kids at their doorsteps feel safe.

I’ll preface by saying that last night was the oddest trick or treating experience I’ve ever had (our town tricks and treats the night before Halloween), and I’ve lived here for twelve years. Hopefully this was an exception for our time here. If it becomes the norm, I may want to move, even after the kids have left the house. I can’t be in one of “those neighborhoods.”

We went on one street for the first time last night, and it will probably be the last time. About 50% of our neighborhood has changed since our first Beggars Night, and most of the weirdness came from the people who haven’t moved. So hey, if you don’t have regular contact with elementary kids, read this and get with the times.

Don’t ask for my kid’s name. If you recognize my kids, say hi. Smile. Give her more candy than you let the other kids have. We like to be friendly with each other, but if you can’t remember our names, don’t ask for them on Beggars Night. Especially when four out-of-neighborhood kids and their parents are standing within earshot. It looks like an invitation to crime and creepiness. Don’t take pictures of all the cute costumes. The set-up: Table in the driveway. Two ladies sitting at a table. Older man on the porch fiddling with a digital camera in the semi-dark. “Have a couple pieces. Let him take your picture, you’re so cute.” Um, NO. I don’t care if you want to practice using a new camera. This looks like a pedophile with two assistants, which is not a good look for you or our neighborhood. Be friendly, but don’t ask for specifics of your fellow trick-or-treaters. I’m sure you have seen my family in everyday life, and I know that small talk is a nice way to pass the time on a chilly night. Similar to asking for our names, I won’t tell you my address, or my street. I might tell you the name of an intersection near my house. I might tell you the name of the school or church we attend. But asking for more makes you look creepy, and I want to believe that my city doesn’t have creepiness in its demographics.

Bottom line to parents: No matter what age your kids are, accompany them, stay within earshot, and keep your dukes up. You might need to use them.

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