It's the most scary time of the year...Halloween!...but when you take the kids trick-or-treating next week, there are some safety tips to be mindful of so everyone has a good time.

Trick-or-treat!...tricks can be fun in some cases, and so can treats, but what if the kids get one that doesn't look right?

"As tempting as it is to eat candy or anything they get right away, it's really best to wait until they get home to eat any of these treats so they can be properly inspected by a parent," Pediatrician Dr. Sanjay Mehta with CentraState Medical Center said.

He adds that if the kids get any treats that are even partially open or tampered with...throw them out.

If they get homemade treats in their basket.

"We don't really recommend that they get eaten, just because you never know what can be inside," Mehta cautions.

He says in most scenarios, that's not the case but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Mehta also says kids should try and avoid costumes with a mask.

"If they can avoid masks, maybe wearing well-fitting hats and decorative makeup, so that any vision is not obstructed," Mehta said.

He also suggests pajama type costumes, that are still scary but fit better. Wearing bright colors also helps, especially if you're going out at night. If the kids plan on wearing decorative contact lenses, he recommends consulting with an eye doctor first.

"Although they will definitely help with the costume, if it's not bought from the right source, it can definitely cause severe damage to the eye," Mehta said.

When you're taking the kids out Mehta stresses the importance of safety first.

"No one should ever be trick-or-treating, that's very important," Mehta said. "Under 12-years old, there should always be an adult whose supervising the child or the group."

He urges homeowners to keep their porches well lit so kids can see it properly and to avoid using open-flames in the pumpkins on their porch.

Trick-or-treating is fun for kids of all ages but what about the kids who love certain candy that doesn't love them back.

Many Jersey homeowners are now painting their pumpkins teal by the porch for kids who have food or other allergies.

"I think we have to be cognizant and definitely put our best foot forward in making it safe for everyone," Mehta said.

Mehta endorses the idea and suggests homeowners also giving out things like coloring books, pencils or markers to the kids.

Here are some other helpful tips for trick-or-treating night Mehta offers:

  • Kids should never trick-or-treat alone. If possible, go with a group of kids and make sure there is at least one adult with the group.
  • Each child should have his/her own flashlight to carry and to turn it on prior to dusk and keep it on until they are safely at home.
  • Masks, costumes and footwear should be well fitting to avoid falling.
  • Costumes should be flame retardant.
  • Costume accessories should be soft and flexible.
  • Keep to sidewalks whenever possible and if you must walk in the street, keep to the very edge of the road and always face traffic.
  • Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Never run from house to house; always walk.
  • Add reflective tape to the costumes and candy buckets.
  • Adults should always inspect candy before allowing their kids to eat it.
  • Never accept homemade treats unless it’s from someone you know.
  • Tell children they should never enter a home.
  • Tell children to never accept a car ride from a stranger.
  • Make sure children know to only visit well-lit homes.
  • Tell children to avoid candles or open flames.
  • Parents should limit the number of treats their child eats.
  • If this will be the first time your child is eating peanuts or tree nuts, wait until the next day and start them off with a small piece – e.g. half of a fun size bar or three peanut M-n-Ms.
  • If your kids get too much candy, think about donating it to an area assisted living center or finding a collection center that is sending candy to the troops overseas.
  • Make sure your kids brush their teeth and remove all of their costume items, including makeup prior to going to bed.

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