Halloween can be scary but safe

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Are you ready for your share of trick-or-treaters? Halloween is one of those occasions when adults, kids, and even some pets pretend to be something else for a few hours. 

From its Celtic beginnings, this holiday has evolved into a lighthearted celebration filled with amusement, creative costumes and jaw dropping decorations. However, All Hallows Eve can be filled with fear and fright if we do not take precautions -- especially here in Alaska. Five basics rules will keep everyone safe.

Slow Down. Drivers should slow to 5 mph in residential areas, and where possible avoid these areas, during trick-or-treating. Often times, children are target locked on the next candy stop -- wanting to get their share of the 26 pounds of candy consumed in the United States each year. At the same time, parents are task saturated attempting to keep everyone out of the snow and together. Parents with trick-or-treaters should start out early and plan short trips due to the weather. When traveling, always have two adults in the car to ensure the driver stays focus on the road and not any backseat distrations.

Keep Pets Away. You should keep your pets indoors and away from mischievous trick-or-treaters. Most candy is very dangerous and even deadly to our furry friends. Do not forget to keep dogs and cats away from the front door. Many pets are scared by loud noises and can become unpredictable around little people in masks.

Stay Warm and Safe. For outside trick-or-treaters, dress children in costumes that keep them warm. Many times, you can simply get a costume a little larger to fit over coat and boots. For inside events, ensure costumes are stair-proofed and do not trap heat. In both cases, avoid masks where possible because they impair vision. Opting for make-up instead can save money, increase the fun and keep your child safe.

Have a Plan. Ensure you know the exact route your "candy crew" will be taking and ask an older teen or adult to accompany them -- even on base. Don't forget the importance of flashlights or glow sticks to ensure they can be seen while trick-or-treating. Finally, it is recommended to take a cell phone and some healthy treats . This will enable the adult to respond to emergencies and discourage little ones from eating unscreened candy.

Remeber to have Fun. Sometimes everyone is so busy trying to maximizing their candy that they forget the whole point of Halloween is to have fun. Planning an after party can ensure everyone gets some candy loot while giving adults time to inspect the treats. Whatever you do, just be sure the fun isn't dangerous.

By remembering these five simple rules, your family and friends can enjoy this Halloween -- and the next.