Legislative Column for the Week of October 26, 2015
Keeping Ghouls and Goblins Safe

This weekend the streets will be filled with all manner of ghosts, goblins, superheroes and princesses.

Halloween, or “All-Hallows’ Eve,” has ancient origins in the Celtic festival of Samhain, and has been celebrated in one form or another in other parts of the world for centuries.

Although it is unknown precisely where and when the term “trick or treat” was coined, it was used in a Peanuts comic strip as early as 1951. By then, the custom was firmly established in American popular culture.

Today, Halloween is as much about safety as it is about getting a bag filled with treats. I’d like to share with you some guidelines one should observe before allowing the little ones to step into the dark in full costume:

Never go trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

Always carry a flashlight with you. This will help you see and be seen.

Walk, don’t run, from house to house.

Many newer costumes have built-in reflective surfaces for safety. If your costume is older or homemade, you may purchase reflective strips to help you stand out to drivers and other festive revelers.

Avoid homemade treats, unless prepared by a trusted source. Eat only factory-wrapped treats from unfamiliar homes. Examine every treat carefully for signs of tampering.

Avoid homes that are dark or seem to be not participating in the celebration, and never enter a stranger’s home without a trusted adult.

Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting www.senate.mo.gov/brown.

Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.