Happy haunting, boys and ghouls: A few simple steps can keep Halloween from getting really scary

This story originally appeared in the Monday, October 31, 2005 edition of The Kansas City Star

Trick-or-treaters, to keep safe: Grownups, to help:

Always carry a flashlight to see and be seen by others.

Wear flame-retardant costumes that have reflective tape or markings.

Ask a parent to attach your name and address to your costume in case you become separated from the group.

Only visit well-lighted houses in your neighborhood. Never go inside.

Bring treats home for parents to inspect before eating them.

Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.

Cross streets at corners. Look both ways.

Make sure swords, wands or other props are flexible and have no sharp edges.

Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping or contact with flame.

Source: St. Luke's Hospital

While driving tonight, watch out for trick-or-treaters.

Keep your porch lighted and clear of anything that might trip a child or leaves that make footing slippery.

Light jack-o-lanterns with flashlights or light sticks instead of candles.

Keep pets away from the door.

Source: Parenthood.com