For the Little Goblins:
- Stay off the grass and out of the flowerbeds.
- Only go to well lit doors. If the porch light is off, pass up the house.
- Don't block the door once you have received your treat.
- Don't ask for another kind of candy.
- Ring the doorbell only one time, and don't knock after the ring.
- Keep your hands off of anything on the front porch.
- Be respectful of other trick-or-treaters.
- Don't run.
- Cross the street at corners and crosswalks only.
- Wear reflective clothing and sneakers.
- Carry a flashlight and keep the light out of driver's eyes.
- Stay close to a parent or trusted adult.
- Say "thank you," even if you don't like chocolate-covered raisins.
For the Parents:
- If you are walking with your toddler and holding your infant, who is dressed like a Dalmatian, don't send your toddler up with a plastic pumpkin bucket "for the baby." It is obvious that the bucket is for you and is bad form.
- Don't wait for your child three houses away. Follow closely behind your child for his or her own safety.
- Acknowledge the person giving your child a treat.
- Don't dress your child in a mask he can't see out of.
- Make sure your child's costume is appropriate for the weather.
- If you have teens going trick-or-treating, they should dress in a costume without a heavy mask.
- If you do not participate in Halloween, don't begrudge those who do. Turn off your lights and go out for a family dinner. It is not your place to lecture other people's children unless they are doing damage to your property.
- Inspect all treats before letting your children eat them.
Diane Gottsman is a nationally recognized etiquette and protocol expert who leads programs for children as well as adults striving to fine-tune their skills. To read her previous columns, visit the Etiquette Archives.