Self-Defense isn't always about fighting. More so self-defense, or what I would call Personal Protection, begins with some simple everyday safety items. Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year. Who doesn’t love dressing up and getting candy and other treats? You and your family have to be cautious, though. Follow these tips for a happy and safe Halloween: Children • Bring a flashlight. • Walk, don’t run. • Use sidewalks; if no sidewalk is available, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. • Don’t cut across yards or driveways. • Obey traffic signals. • Don’t go into unfamiliar neighborhoods; approach only houses that are lit. • Bring a watch you can read in the dark. • Avoid tripping by wearing costumes that don’t drag and shoes that fit. • Don’t wear masks that interfere with your vision. • Don’t carry nonflexible knives, swords or other dangerous props. • Wear reflective markings or tape on costumes, so motorists can see you. • Avoid unfamiliar pets. • Carry a cellphone to call home in an emergency. Parents • Provide dinner before trick-or-treating. • Accompany young children. • Look for flame-retardant costumes. • Know where older children are trick-or-treating. • Inspect candy for tampering; discard anything suspicious. Homeowners • Remove from your yard any ladders, hoses, dog leashes, flowerpots, or other items that children could trip on. • Keep pets inside; they may bite if frightened by the noise and commotion. • If using real candles in a jack-o’-lantern, place your pumpkin away from where trick-or-treaters may stand. • Keep paper or cloth decorations away from any candle flame. • Provide healthy alternatives to candy, like fruit rolls, mini-boxes of raisins, or popcorn. • Consider offering nonfood treats like pencils, stickers, coins, or erasers. Take care, and have a great Halloween!