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A Jack-O-Lantern next to a bag that reads " trick or treat."

Consider sugar content, wrappers and chewiness before making Haloween trick-or-treat purchases.

Trick-or-treat safety

From eNews, Oct. 26, 2006

As parents scramble to get last-minute supplies and finish costumes this Halloween, Kia Harries, 4-H youth development educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, has some helpful hints.

First and foremost, remember to make sure the costumes are safe for the children wearing them, says Harries. She recommends the following:

When deciding on treats to give trick-or-treaters who appear at the door, Harries says age-appropriate items are best. She recommends considering sugar content, wrappers and chewiness before making purchases. Children who are too young for chewy candy run the risk of choking. Alternatives to candy include coupons for local stores or restaurants, or coins for their piggy banks.

Harries encourages parents to walk with their children when they go trick-or-treating and to stand near the door when they stop at a home. "Keep an eye on your children at all times," she advises. "Keep track of what homes they visit and what treats they receive at each home."

If your child hasn't yet decided on a Halloween costume, Harries has tips to help busy parents arrive at a quick solution:

For more Halloween safety tips, listen to the University of Minnesota Moment.