know who you're getting candy from
it still came as a surprise several years ago when a man living 2 doors down from us was arrested for having thousands of horrible and illegal images of kiddos on his laptop. and even though i keep vigilant up year round, every Halloween season when we begin mapping out our path, i make sure i go onto Family Watchdog and pulled the sex offenders report for my neighborhood. and then i make sure we don't go to their houses. and i also watch to make sure that they aren't handing out candy on Halloween. in our state, sex offenders don't have extra restrictions on Halloween, but you better bet if i see them handing out candy, i'm calling law enforcement so they can keep a close eye on them. to find a list of offenders in your neighborhood, visit the Family Watchdog site and enter your address. a map similar to the one below will pop up. the red, blue and green boxes represent the residence of different types of offenders. you can click on the squares to open up their info to include specific address, name, picture, and what they were convicted of. it's a great tool to use to learn exactly who is in your neighborhood.
check and double check
before you set out, make sure that you've instated the family rule of: no eating candy during trick-or-treating. not only will this keep little ones from getting hyped up on all that sugary goodness before bed, it gives you time to check the packaging on all treats back at the house before they're consumed. we have a firm rule about how treat wrappers should look... they shouldn't appeared to be opened and resealed, no chemically smells, and no homemade treats. my reasoning is that i just don't know everyone, so i'm not going to implicitly trust them.