Parenting Guru: More treats, less tricks: Halloween safety tips for a ghoulish good time

"You know what's more fun than fun? Safety." Friends, these are actual words I've recently spoken to my children in true maternal fashion. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that I meant them.

As a big fan of fun and even bigger fan of ghoulish good times, I'm all for celebrating the spooktactular hijinks of Halloween in a very big way.

OK, you got me. I don't really care that much about Halloween. I do, however, care that much and more about the delicious assortment of fun-sized chocolately booty my kids bring home from their trick-or-treat adventures.

In the spirit of fun and safety (and good candy), check out these trick-or-treat safety tips guaranteed to keep everyone safe and smiling this Halloween:

Do your research: Take a few minutes to visit your state's website for registered sex offenders in your area when planning your trick-or-treat route. Better safe than sorry.

Costume safety: Costumes are great fun as long as they fit properly and don't pose a safety hazard. Make sure you child's vision is not obstructed by masks and costume eyewear. Costume swords, knives, and accessories should be flexible to avoid injury. Costumes should be flame-resistant as lit candles and luminaries pose a potential fire risk. Make sure costume robes, capes, dresses and footwear don't present a tripping hazard.

Know the area: Choose a trick-or-treat route you're familiar with to avoid getting lost or suffering potential injury in dimly lit unfamiliar areas.

Be seen: Dark streets and dark costumes create a safety risk. Consider using reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Have each child carry something lit such as a flashlight or glow stick to allow for better visibility by drivers and fellow trick-or-treaters.

Do not enter: Houses, garages, or backyards of anyone you do not know.

Safety in numbers: Older kids should trick-or-treat in large groups with a specified route. Younger children should always be accompanied by an adult.

Safe travels: Walk (never run) from house to house while trick-or-treating. Avoid shortcuts. Use crosswalks and best pedestrian practices.

Do not eat: Homemade or loose treats from strangers. Stick with factory-wrapped candies and inspect all treats for evidence of tampering.

With a little careful planning, a happy and safe Halloween can be yours.

If you're handing out treats this Halloween, make sure all pathways leading up to your house are well-lit and free of obstruction to avoid risk of injury to your trick-or-treat visitors.

Do you have any tried and true Halloween safety tips to offer?

Mommyfriend goes by Lori Garcia in real life and is a Shine Parenting Guru. She writes at www.mommyfriend.com where she's busy finding perfection in imperfection daily. When she's not watching infomercials she's a blogger for Babble's Strollerderby, Babble's Kid Scoop, and one of the sexy founders of Project Marriage.