Safety is an important thing, no matter what holiday we are celebrating, however, Halloween can add a few tricks which we all need to watch out for. You don't want to spoil the fun with an unnecessary trip to the ER! Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind:

1.) If you or your child is wearing a costume that is dark in color, make sure you are equipped with flash lights, glow sticks or something that is reflective so you are visible to on-coming traffic. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that the amount of deaths among pedestrians ages 5 to 14 is four times higher on Halloween than any other day of the year. That's why Halloween safety is not only for trick-or-treaters, but for drivers as well. Be on the look-out for dark movement, and take it slow especially in the neighborhoods where kids will be out.

2.) If you or your child is wearing a mask, make sure the mask do not restrict their peripheral eye sight. When crossing the street, make sure you remove the mask so you can see clearly everything that is around you. You also want to consider costumes that are fire proof or fire retardant. Costumes that are overly large, ackward or too big in size could be a trip hazard. Make sure the costume fights appropriately.

3.) Have a plan and a curfew. Map out a route for your kids so you know where they will be at all times. Set a specific time for their safe return. If your child has a cell phone, make sure they take it with them while trick or treating. There is always safety in numbers so make sure you and your child stick with the group. If they are not trick or treating with a group of friends, you or a responsible adult should always accompany your child.

4.) Examine all the goodies before you eat! It is important to check for proper seals and wrapping before dispursing candy and treats to your children. If something has a broken seal, you should throw it away immediately. You should only take home-made foods from people you know and trust.

5.) Never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car. Teach your children about "stranger danger" and how to handle a situation if a stranger should approach them. Cutting across back alleys and through dark parking lots is asking for trouble. Make sure you stay in well-light, populated areas.

6.) As bad as it sounds, it is a fact of life these days and knowledge will lead to prevention. Sex offenders and ciminals live in all areas of the Valley. You can research your community online to learn more about who is living nearby. http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Sex_Offender/ or www.glendaleaz.com/police/sexoffenderinfocenter.cfm.

7.) Kids will be kids but it is imperative that we teach kids of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they've made.

8.) Some sick people find Halloween a great night to hurt cats. Explain to your kids that animal cruelty of any kind is not acceptable. Kids may already know this on their own but stress the point that it's not acceptable behavior. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong  but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.

9.) Pet safety is just as important to remember too! No matter how much your dog or cat may beg for some of your Halloween candy, always remember that chocolate is deadly to them in any amount. There's a chemical that naturally occurs in chocolate that they can not tolerate. Also, if you plan to dress up your pet, it is best not to use a mask. However, if you must use a mask on your pet, make sure that it's eyes have plenty of room to see and that there is nothing covering it's nose or confining it's mouth.

10.) Although, there is not really a set age limit for Halloween participants, it is important to teach older children how to trick or treat without scaring people into believing their maybe a robber or someone there to cause them harm.

If you have older children who will be trick or treating this year, make sure they wear a costume that is easy to identify as a "costume" and not a prowler!