While Halloween is one of the most fun nights of the year for kids, it's somewhat terrifying for adults, and we're not just talking traditional frights.  Sending your kid out on a night where everyone is outside, and cars are everywhere, it's enough to turn any parent's hair grey instantly.  So here's a couple of ideas to keep in mind to make sure all kids stay safe, courtesy of Office Stokesberry, co-coordinator of the Linn County Safe Kids Coalition.

Never underestimate the power of a simple conversation.  Sure, the kids are itching to get out the door, but make sure you take just a few minutes to go over basic safety rules, like staying in groups, not eating candy till it's checked at home, walking on sidewalks and away from the street, sticking to a predetermined route, crossing the street only at well lit intersections, and ALWAYS looking both ways first.  Sure they're basic rules, but when a simple last minute reminder might save a life, why not take the time to do it?

What about when there's no sidewalks?  Officer Stokesberry reminds you to walk facing traffic, so you see them, and they see you.  And of course, be as much off the street as possible.

The "scariest" costumes are those that have masks (which obstruct their view) or are dark (and hard to see at night).  A good idea would be to attach some reflective tape to the costume, have them carry a flashlight, or better yet, have them wear glowsticks, possibly even hanging down their back, versus the front.  And what kids doesn't love glowsticks?  As for the masks, encourage them to remove them as often as possible, but 100% when crossing the street.

And finally, if they've got baggy costumes or are wearing capes, make sure they are flame resistant.  Better yet, remind the kids to be wary of candles, fire pits, and Jack-O-Laterns. And don't forget to remind them, "Stop, drop, and roll."

On that note, as parents, if you're using fire pits or candles, keep in mind just how flammable certain things are, from costumes, to paper decorations, to dried corn stalks, and keep these things away from flames.  Make sure any open flames are as far out of walkways as possible, no matter how badly you want to show off those "cute" decorations. Even better, especially with Jack-O-Laterns, consider using those batter operated lights that look just like candles.  We have them, and the kids love em, especially if it's got a setting to change colors!

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