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Stay Safe and Have Fun on Halloween

Patch offers a tips for fun and safety on Halloween, as well as a round-up of local, family-friendly events.

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? Because he didn’t have the guts, of course!

That’s right, it’s almost Halloween, and in some St. Louis-area neighborhoods, you won’t get a treat without a trick. You can sing or dance or tell a funny joke, but unless you’re a super-cute toddler, you might need to do a little something special to get your treat.

Savvy trick-or-treaters can prepare their acts in advance by finding plenty of good, clean Halloween jokes at GuySports.com.

Stay Safe on Halloween

Along with the fun of trick-or-treating, parents need to be concerned with their kids’ safety. While Halloween can provide hours of entertainment and serious candy benefits, approximately four times as many kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are killed while walking on Halloween night as compared with other evenings during the year, according to  a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Falls are another leading injury among kids on Halloween.

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

  • Trick-or-treaters should only visit well-lit houses, and they should never go inside unless they personally know the homeowners.
  • Adults should always accompany kids under 12, and if possible, trick-or-treat in a small group, as there’s always safety in numbers.
  • Older kids should have a pre-determined curfew. In many St. Louis County areas, kids under 16 need to be home by 11 p.m.
  • Parents and older kids should carry cell phones and know how to call for help if necessary.
  • Parents should consider adding smaller children’s names and phone numbers to costumes in case they are separated from the group during trick-or-treating.
  • If weapon-like costume props are needed, kids should use soft and flexible costume swords or knives, rather than sharp or rigid ones.
  • All trick-or-treaters and their parents should carry flashlights and stay on the sidewalks rather than crossing through yards.
  • To reduce the risk of accidents, streets should be crossed in groups at corners and crosswalks when available, and trick-or-treaters should never cross between parked cars.
  • Trick-or-treaters should avoid taking shortcuts through alleys or darkened streets.
  • When possible, kids should wear bright or reflective clothing that is also flame-retardant.
  • For smaller kids, consider using face paint in lieu of a mask, which could obstruct their vision and make them more accident-prone.
  • Take care to alter costumes that are too long to prevent tripping.
  • If you plan to hand out candy, be sure you clear your porch, sidewalk and lawn to prevent trick-or-treaters from being injured.
  • Consider having special treats for younger trick-or-treaters. Peanuts, gum, hard candy and small toys are choking hazards.
  • While none of the communites Patch serves in the St. Louis area said they had trick-or-treating ordinances or specific times for trick-or-treating, the general recommendation is to finish trick-or-treating by 9 p.m.

A Note on Poisoned Candy

While Snopes.com reports that it’s an urban legend that people randomly poison Halloween candy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Parents should always inspect the candy their kids bring home from trick-or-treating before it’s eaten.

Family-Friendly Halloween Events & Attractions in the St. Louis Area

  • The Wild Bird Sanctuary, located at 125 Bald Eagle Road in Valley Park, is hosting Creatures of Halloween on Oct. 28 from 7 to 8 p.m. 
  • In St. Charles, kids under 12 in costumes are invited to trick-or-treat on Main Street on Halloween from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by a free, 30-minute Halloween production at Frontier Park.
  • The Affton Presbyterian Church, located at 9217 Gravois Road, will host its annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat event on Oct. 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • The city of Maryland Heights will hold a Halloween parade on Oct. 27. The event is free, but reservations are required.
  • In O’Fallon, kids ages 2 to 99 are invited to a pumpkin picnic and hayride on Oct. 22. Costumes are welcome. Reservations are required, and there are just a few spots left, so hurry if you want to attend this one.
  • St. Peters residents can see the St. Charles Symphony in a special spooky Halloween concerton Oct. 29 at the St. Peters Cultural Arts Center. Musicians will be in costume, and kids who don costumes will be given a special treat.
  • Kids between 1 and 10 who live in Wentzville are invited to Halloween Happenings at the Progress Park Gymnasium on Oct. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Kids can wear costumes and visit with clowns, as well as play games and jump in bounce houses. This event is for residents only.
  • The city of Florissant will hold a Halloween party on Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the James J. Eagan Center for kids ages 12 and under. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. Kids will enjoy games and prizes, and costumes are encouraged. This event is for residents only.
  • The Butterfly House, located at 15193 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield, will hold its annual  on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes. Games and treats are available. The cost of the party is included with admission to the Butterfly House.  
  • West County EMS & Fire Protection District will hold a free Fall Festival  on Oct. 15 at noon at 223 Henry Avenue in Wildwood. Guests receive free food, games, haunted attractions and more, plus free pumpkins while they last. Attendance prizes will also be given.
  • The Carondelet Rec Complex, located at 930 Holly Hills Ave., is hosting its second annual on Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. The event costs $5, but families who decorate a trunk and hand out candy will get in free.
  • The Weber Road Branch of the St. Louis County Library in Affton is holding a  on Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. This free event is for ages 3 and up and offers games, crafts and refreshments. Costumes encouraged.
  • Halloween in the Central West End offers a combination of family fun and neighborhood party that’s billed as the biggest Halloween party in St. Louis. Activities include two parades, trick-or-treating and an evening adult costume party and contest.
  • The Jefferson County Library in Arnold is offering a full day of Halloween fun at its Halloween Hauntings event on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests will enjoy crafts, stories, movies and more.
  • On Oct. 29, the Jefferson County Library in Arnold is having a Teen Halloween Party. Teens ages 12 to 18 should wear costumes for the costume contest. All ages are welcome, and sign-up is requested.

Halloween Goes to the Dogs

  • The city of Crestwood will hold the Howlin’ Hound Run at Crestwood Park on Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. Why should humans have all the fun? This event is designed for dogs. Humans also welcome.
  • Webster Groves will have its own special event for your furry friends at the Recreation Complex Gymnasium on Oct. 28. The Mask and Fur Ball costs $10 per dog for advance registration or $15 per dog on the day of the event. Humans are free.  Dogs can wear Halloween costumes, and pre-registration is required.
Miguel Roman October 23, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Neither, cuz Halloween is a holiday for noobz

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