Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Here are some simple tips that should help keep it safe and fun for everyone.
1. When planning your children’s trick-or-treating route, stick to residential neighborhoods. Try to avoid deserted industrial areas, construction sites, and toxic waste dumps.
2. Novelty contact lenses can add a new dimension to a Halloween costume. Please get yours from a licensed eye care professional; resist the temptation to create your own using an empty plastic water bottle, a razor blade, and a set of colored markers.
3. Don’t give out raisins as treats. Raisins are poisonous to dogs and unpopular with children, so giving children raisins often sets off this unfortunate chain of events: you give raisins to a trick-or treater, who then innocently feeds them to his dog. The dog dies, and the child, unable to cope with the ensuing guilt, holds you responsible and deals with his anger by plotting elaborate revenge scenarios. Years later, he kills you in a particularly cruel and grisly manner; the story hits the national news, and on the following Halloween, millions of children dress up as either your killer or your unflatteringly gruesome corpse. So please, skip the raisins and give out “fun size” candies instead.
4. Remember, a plastic bag is not a costume. Or a mask.
5. If you have children and a dog, warn the children that raisins are poisonous to dogs. Otherwise, you run the risk that your children may feed raisins to the dog, killing the family pet and eventually resulting in huge therapy and/or legal bills.
6. If you feel you need additional security (for example, if you gave out raisins in previous years and fear reprisal), put a system in place for screening trick-or-treaters as they approach your home. Consider borrowing or renting a metal detector or backscatter x-ray scanner from an airport. Be aware, though, that a few people may react negatively to the use of a backscatter scanner — insisting that children pose for near-naked images and then giving them candy makes some parents irrationally hostile.
7. If you know that someone is planning to kill you, it’s best to avoid them on Halloween. Halloween is the day of the year on which most murders occur (or if it isn’t, it should be).
I hope these guidelines help you enjoy your Halloween. If you have any of your own important safety tips, please share them here.