young trick or treaters

What are your plans this Halloween? Will you decorate your front porch, wear a funny costume and pass out candy to the neighborhood children? Will you walk around the neighborhood with your grandchildren as they Trick or Treat? Will you be home alone? Halloween can be a fun holiday for children and adults, but sometimes for senior citizens, it can be stressful and even scary. For some, it may be challenging to have to keep answering the door and facing strangers, and it is especially frightening when some teens or young adults use the holiday as an excuse to scare people or vandalize homes. As people are out and about on Halloween, keep in mind your own safety and the safety of the neighborhood children out Trick or Treating.

Safety While Driving

The National Safety Council says that pedestrian/car accidents are one of the biggest safety concerns on Halloween night. If you plan on driving somewhere that night, be extra careful pulling in and out of your driveway, and perhaps ask a passing adult to keep watch and guide you as you back up. Drive slowly through all neighborhood streets and watch for children in the road. Children are so excited to be Trick or Treating that they may not watch for traffic. If you are driving after dark, be on the lookout for children or teens in dark clothing that may be hard to see.

Safety While Passing out Candy

It is fun to open your door to a large group of small children in adorable costumes, but it can get scary later in the evening when your doorstep is crowded with teenagers in menacing costumes. Take precautions to keep yourself and your home safe. Always leave the porch light on and your home’s interior lights on. Many people turn the porch light off when they are no longer giving out candy, but you may want to leave your lights on for safety—whether or not you are still giving out candy.

Safety in Numbers

If you live alone, you may want to consider having a friend or relative come to your house and keep you company while you pass out candy. Deborah O’Malley, who writes about Chicago crime for, says this will “give the impression there is more than one person living in the home.” If that is not an option, she suggests going to a neighbor’s house and giving out candy with them. You can leave a sign on your front door that says, “Candy for this house is being given out next door, please collect your treats there.” This way, your house will be left alone, and you will have company while you pass out candy in a safe environment.

In most communities, Halloween Trick or Treating is a fun, family-friendly event. Enjoy the night with your grandchildren, loved ones, neighbors and friends. Use common sense as you celebrate and keep yourself and others safe. Be cautious around anyone who may try to cause trouble, but don’t let it stop you from putting on a silly costume and having fun as you pass out candy to the neighborhood children.