Halloween is coming, and kids are thinking about their costumes and the piles of candy coming their way. But, they aren’t thinking about the many dangers they will face during the frantic trick-or-treating festivities. To help make sure your child is safe, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends the following precautions:

Tips for Your Trick-or-Treaters

Pick a Flame-Resistant Costume — Whether your child wants to dress up as a ghost or a pirate this year, make sure the costume is resistant to fire. Look for the “Flame-Resistant” or “Flame-Retardant” label.
Make Sure the Costume Fits — Costumes that are too big or too tall can make children trip and fall. Be sure your child tries on the costume at the store and make sure it doesn’t drag on the floor. If they will be wearing a mask, make sure they can see and breathe easily while it’s on.
Go Trick-or-Treating Together — If your child is under 12, you should accompany them while they trick-or-treat.
Cross the Street Safely — Teach your child to be a safe pedestrian — walk on sidewalks, cross only at crosswalks, follow walk signals, and look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street.
See and Be Seen — Make sure your child carries a flashlight and that their costume helps them be seen by drivers if they’ll be out looking for treats after dark. Attach reflective strips to their outfit and treat bag if the costume is made of dark fabric.
Don’t Go to Dark Houses — Homes with treats should have their indoor and outdoor lights on to show visitors they’re welcome. If a home isn’t well lit, skip it.

Tips for Adults

Keep Inside and Outside Lights On — Let trick-or-treaters know they’re welcome by keeping your home well-lit inside and out. This also helps kids see the path to your front door.
Use Flameless Decorations — Don’t put open-flame candles in pumpkins and lawn decorations. Instead use battery-powered lights or flashlights. Also steer clear of firecrackers or other fireworks — they are illegal in Massachusetts.
Check Your Child’s Candy — Sort through your child’s candy haul and get rid of anything that isn’t packaged. If you have a very young child or toddler, remove small toys and treats like gum that could pose a choking hazard.

Tips For Parents to Help Prevent Bullying

Parents and guardians are among a school's best allies in bullying prevention:

Talk with and Listen to Your Children Everyday Ask questions about their school day, including experiences on the way to and from school, lunch, and recess. Ask about their peers. Children who feel comfortable talking to their parents about these matters before they are involved in bullying are more likely to get them involved after.
Be a Good Example When you get angry at waiters, other drivers or others, model effective communication techniques. As Education.com puts it, "Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you're teaching your child that bullying is ok."
Create Healthy Anti-Bullying Habits Starting as young as possible, coach your children on both what not to do (push, tease, and be mean to others) as well as what to do (be kind, empathize, and take turns). Also coach your child on what to do if someone is mean to him or to another (get an adult, tell the bully to stop, walk away and ignore the bully).
Make Sure Your Child Understands Bullying Explicitly explain what it is and that it's not normal or tolerable for them to bully, be bullied, or stand by and watch other kids be bullied.

(These tips were adapted from materials by the National PTA and Education.com.)