Watch out for little beggars
How to keep trick-or-treating safe

Saturday, October 31, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

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  • It's not just the ghosts, vampires, princesses and clowns who have to be careful on trick-or-treat night.

    Commuters coming home from work and motorists who happen to be on the road during the bewitching hours this weekend also need to keep an eye on pint-sized pedestrians as they scurry from house to house.

    That's the message from Cincinnati AAA, one of several community and safety agencies issuing stay-safe reminders for the upcoming Halloween holiday.

    "Children will not be alone on the streets," says Amy Frede, public relations coordinator for Cincinnati AAA. Alert motorists and safety-minded children with adult escorts can help prevent accidents and injury.

    Here are tips issued by AAA, the American Red Cross, the Cincinnati Chapter of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and Children's World Learning Centers:


  • Use face makeup instead of vision-restricting masks. Choose light-colored materials or use reflective tape on costumes so children can be seen at night.

  • Make sure costumes are short enough that children do not trip. Take a flashlight with you.

  • Don't allow children to carry sharp objects. Make swords and knives out of cardboard.


  • Go only during designated hours in your community.

  • Make sure young children are accompanied by an adult.

  • Visit only houses that have a porch light on. Stay away from unfamiliar neighborhoods.

  • Never go into a house unless you know who lives there.

  • Remind children to walk, not run.

  • Stay on sidewalks and paths. Always cross at crosswalks or well-lighted intersections, never between parked cars or in the middle of the block.

  • Make sure children younger than 12 have or carry some kind of identification in case they get lost.

  • Drivers should turn on headlights before dusk and travel slowly through residential neighborhoods during trick-or-treat hours.

    The goodies

  • Children should wait until they get home before eating any candy. Make sure an adult inspects all candy and goodies before anything is eaten.

  • Discard any candy or food that's unwrapped or looks as if the wrapper has been tampered with.

  • Let children eat candy on trick-or-treat night, and then hide it it or dole it out a few pieces at a time for the next week or so.

  • Consider non-candy alternatives, such as pencils, stickers, crayons, coupons, raisins, gum and peanut-butter crackers.

  • After candy's been eaten, remind children to brush their teeth.

  • If children are allergic to specific foods (peanuts, milk and nuts are common ones found in candy), remind them ahead of time to not eat anything until an adult has checked the label for ingredients. Keep toys and games or allergy-free candies on hand to trade for those that can cause reactions.

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