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Trick or Treat Safety Tips

Halloween, also known as All Saints' Eve, or All Hallows' Eve, has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, which originates from the Old Irish to mean summer's end. The festival of Samhain marked the end of the lighter half of the year and the subsequent start of the darker half.

Those celebrating the festival of Halloween believed the entry to this world and the Otherworld was especially thin during this time for spirits good and bad to pass through. As a result, many families invited their deceased back home, while warding off any harmful spirits.

It is believed that the wearing of masks and costumes was a way of warding off the harmful spirits.

Symbols such as the jack-o-lantern have become synonymous with Halloween throughout the centuries, and was initially employed to honor the souls that were hovering in purgatory. In Celtic festivals, turnips were carved out and positioned in windows in a bid to fend off any evil spirits.

While in America, the tradition of carving pumpkins came after the Great Famine when the Irish immigrated to the New World. Then, it's meaning was connected with the harvest, and it wasn't until the 1800s that it actually became linked with Halloween.

The deep history of Halloween has continued to make it an exceptionally popular holiday, especially among young children who get the chance to dress up as a witch, or zombie. But while it may indeed be an exciting time for many, it is also a time to take extreme caution when it comes to your children's safety.

As Halloween approaches, the nights will continue to get darker, making it possible for a potential predator to strike if your child wanders out of sight.

In order to make sure that the night starts and ends well, there are a few measures that can be taken to ensure this.

If a group of young children are going door-to-door asking the well know trick or treat question, it's vital

that they stay within sight of you. As tempting as it may be for them, they shouldn't run off. You may even consider having another parent or two walk with you, so that more eyes can keep an eye on the children.

Make sure that you have the right child in sight. It may sound silly, but if you live in an area that sees a large number of children out on Halloween, it is likely that you will witness a fair amount of witches and zombies. This can often make it hard to distinguish who is who, and could be the opening that predators need when a parent loses sight of their child.

In case your child does get mixed up in the crowd, you may want to think about attaching something beforehand on them that will easily point them out. It could even be as simple as a brightly colored pointed hat, but as long as it points out where your child is, then you'll always know where they are.

Instill in them the importance of not talking to strangers. Unfortunately, while everyone may be having fun on Halloween, there will also be predators lurking around. Because of this, it is vital that you as the parent are aware of what is going on around you. Do you notice someone lurking behind a tree? Down an alley? Is someone following you? Is there someone in your neighborhood that you don't recognize?

Maximize you and your child's safety by staying in well lit areas and by tagging along with other parents and their children. This way, the bigger the crowd the less likely someone will approach you unawares.

In most cases, all it takes are simple steps, and you can ensure that the Halloween festivities start and end on a happy note for you and your child.

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