Parenting tips for having a safe and fun Halloween with your children.

Halloween is upon us again. Children are looking forward to wearing their best ghoul and goblin and princess costumes.

Halloween tends to be a festive celebration. One where there can also be party goers who drink alcohol and choose to drive to and from their Halloween parties.

So parents when you take your children out for trick or treating, keep in mind some of the following helpful tips:

Start your trick or treating early:

During daylight and prior to dusk is a good time in which to start your child's trick or treating. Your children can be seen by drivers. As dusk passes, bring a flashlight that can illuminate for over 30 feet if possible. Cell phones can also download certain flashlight apps making the cell phone a flashlight. For example, Torch Flashlight App can be obtained trough the App Store from iTunes. Although such apps provide illumination, a typical hardware flashlight may be your best bet.

Have an adult be the leader of the pack and also have an adult protect the rear:

Children do like to run off on their own to various homes to be the first to get the candy. It is wise, however, to have an adult maintain a reasonable distance ahead of the pack to make certain a child does not run across a street. An adult should also cover the rear to make certain no child is left behind or is not accounted for in the event the pack gets a bit to far ahead. Always keep a count of the children and always use your flashlights to direct crossing a street if necessary.

Designate a location to meet ahead of time in the event your pack separates:

It does happen. Parents cannot hold the pack together. That is fine should it occur; just a normal part of the fun. But parents can designate a certain landmark as a meeting place for the pack to get together again in the event there is a break in the group. Such landmarks can include the corner of the street, the house at the end of the street, the stop sign area, just to name a few examples.

Keep an eye out for careless drivers:

Keep a watch out for drivers who do not have their car headlights on, the driver who is using the cell phone while driving, the driver who may be driving a bit too fast for driving conditions. They are out there. Parents should be watchful and attentive to their surroundings while their kids are trick or treating. Use your cell phone to call 911 to report such careless drivers especially any driver that may be driving a bit erractically in a neighborhood. Such a driver may be driving under the influence of alchohol so it is wise to involve your local police agency should you suspect such a driver.

Just a word of advice to any one who may drive to and from their Halloween parties: if you are going to drink, do so wisely and responsibly. Designate a driver who has not consumed any alcohol to drive you to your destination. Use a fun shuttle or limousine service. Do the right thing: DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL AND THEN GET BEHIND AN AUTOMOBILE TO DRIVE. If you do so, you risk putting the lives of children and others in danger. There are stiff penalities in California for drinking and driving. A first time conviction for driving under the influence criminal charge charge can include jail time, years on probation, loss or suspension of a driver license, court fees and fines, and participation and completion of a state mandated alcohol program. A person can spend about $5,000.00 in fees, penalties, and fines. Furthermore, the drunk driving conviction can remain on a driver's licensing record for 10 years. Convictions for second or third DUI offenses can be even more severe. If a driver has consumed alcohol and gets involved in a car accident, that person faces a felony charge and possible felony conviction. A jail sentence for a period of months may be ordered by the judge.

Halloween should be a time of fun for all. Children get the most fun wearing that cool ninja constume or that beautiful princess costume. Parents love to see their children radiate wearing such costumes and getting their favorite candy in their Halloween bag. Let all of us do our best to maintain a safe and sane Halloween.

The Gonzalez Law Firm has over 18 years of experience helping families with their legal issues. Attorney David Gonzalez has offices in Fullerton and Santa Ana and can assist you with your child custody issue, parenting rights, or dissolution of marriage matter. His firm also assists persons who may be accused of criminal charges including misdemeanor or felony DUI charges. Contact his firm for a consultation concerning your legal issue.