Halloween candy laced with marijuana. Maniac drivers swerving through neighborhoods. Creeps luring unsuspecting trick-or-treaters with candy bars.
Moms and Dads are inundated with terrifying warnings this time of year. The extreme dangers of trick-or-treating are enough to keep your kids home with the porch light off and the doors locked.
But doctors and Halloween experts say four smart rules can make October 31 a safe night filled with good fun without any of the panic.
- Emergency rooms fill up with twisted ankles and injuries on Halloween night. A big culprit, says Dr. Anjan Shah of the Florida Orthopaedic Institute, is kids scampering across yards. Children can easily trip over tree roots and wires and spooky props. Make sure kids stay on sidewalk. No running and no flip-flops.
- Two free phone apps can bring parental peace of mind: the iHandy Flashlight and the Red Panic Button. The iHandy Flashlight app gives kids or parents easy to access to lighting instead of fumbling with your phone and has various brightness and strobe effects allowing you to navigate dark areas. If you are in a big group and someone gets lost, the Red Panic Button app allows your child to hit a big red button on a phone and immediately send you a text and Google Map with their exact location.
- The stats about driver-related accidents are unsettling. Children are four times as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween. So make costumes as bright as you can. Glow sticks, glow swords, glow necklaces and glow glasses are as cheap as 99 cents at Party City. Also make sure costumes are reflective and as “visible” as can be.
- Every year brings news and terrifying rumors of the newest candy scare. Marijuana-laced gummies and bath salts being handed out as treats are this year's new razors-in-apples. Many of these reports are overblown click bait. This is where common sense comes in. Parents should always check all candy for anything suspicious or oddly wrapped before letting their little ghouls and goblins dig in for treats.