* Young children should be accompanied by a parent or responsible older child.
* Older children should trick or treat in a familiar neighborhood and in groups -- never alone. Parents should know which route they will follow.
* Remind children not to accept treats from strangers on the street, not to get into strange cars and to be careful crossing streets.
* Choose light-colored costumes if possible. For greater visibility, add reflective tape (available in fabric and some sporting-goods stores). Reflective stickers in the shape of Halloween characters are available this year in Drake's packaged baked goods.
* Be sure your child's costume is nonflammable. If unsure, cut a piece off the bottom and try it near a candle flame. An old theatrical trick for fireproofing fabric is to treat it with a solution of aluminum chloride salts and borax (both available from pharmacists), half a cup of each in about three cups of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray your child's clothing, or dip the fabric in the solution and let it drip dry.
* Remember that standard face masks can restrict vision and make breathing difficult. If the eye and nostril areas on a mask aren't big enough, cut them larger. (You can fill in exposed areas with makeup.)
Take a tip from professional dancers who, besides lining their masks, cut 1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch squares of household sponge and glue them on forehead and cheekbone areas of a mask for greater comfort.
* Put a name and address somewhere on your child to get them home in an emergency.
* Consider sending along a flashlight (they're fun, anyway).
* Try to talk your child out of oversize shoes which make walking difficult.
* Inspect goody bags and remove anything that might be unsanitary or dangerous. The old razor-in-the-apple fear may be exaggerated, but it doesn't hurt to be careful