Before your little ghost and goblins head out to trick or treat, remember some important etiquette and safety rules will make this Halloween friendlier and safer according to Diane Gottsman etiquette expert.

Tips for the Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Stay off the grass and out of the flowerbeds.
  • If the porch light is off, pass up the house and go only to well-lit doors.
  • Don’t block the door once you have received your treat.
  • Don’t ask for more candy or another type of candy.
  • Only ring the doorbell one time. Don’t knock after the ring.
  • Don’t ask for water or a restroom at anyone’s house.
  • Keep your hands off of anything on the front porch.
  • Be respectful of other trick-or-treaters by waiting your turn.
  • Wear reflective clothing and tennis shoes.
  • Carry a flashlight and don’t point it at oncoming traffic.
  • Stay close to a parent or trusted adult.
  • Always say, “thank you”, even if you don’t like chocolate-covered raisins.

Tips for the Parents:

  • If you are walking with your 6 year-old, holding your 4 month-old and chasing your toddler, consider taking a friend to assist you.
  • Don’t send the toddler or 6 year-old with and extra bucket “for the 3 month-old baby.”
  • Follow closely behind your child and don’t allow him or her to wander off from house to house without supervision.
  • A parent should also acknowledge the person handing out the candy with a smile and a “thank you.”
  • Don’t put your child in a mask that blocks his or her vision. Opt for costume face paint instead.
  • Make sure your child’s costume is not too hot or too light for the weather.
  • Discourage your older teen from trick or treating. Expect raised eyebrows from the neighbors if your teen is carrying a trash bag or pillowcase for a treat bag.
  • Teens should never wear a heavy mask or carry weapon-like gear.
  • Inspect all treats before letting your children eat them.
  • If you do not want to participate in the Halloween ritual, make it clear by turning off your front porch light. Better yet, go out for a nice dinner and return after all of the little goblins are tucked into bed.

Happy Halloween!