Halloween: Trick-or-Treat Insights From Your Favorite Associations

It's that time of year—and Halloween is more popular than ever. To ensure you don't get spooked, check out these tips from associations of all stripes.

The scariest part of Halloween might be the extra stress that comes with all that trick-or-treating—especially if you’re the one handing out the candy at your house or taking the kids around the neighborhood.

But we’ve got you covered. Check out this roundup of spook-friendly advice from the world of associations:

Costumes are bigger than ever: For retailers, Halloween is looking anything but scary. Last month, the National Retail Federation reported that a record number of Americans—67.4 percent of Halloween celebrants—were expected to buy costumes. Consumers are expected to spend more, too: According to the NRF’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey, spending on the holiday was expected to reach $7.4 billion this year—an average of $77.52 per person, up from 2013’s average of $75.03. “There’s no question that the variety of adult, child, and even pet costumes now available has driven the demand and popularity of Halloween among consumers of all ages,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “And, with the holiday falling on a Friday this year, we fully expect there will be a record number of consumers taking to the streets, visiting haunted houses and throwing unforgettable celebrations.” To get a full idea of Halloween’s business trends, check out the Slideshare presentation above.

Consider alternatives to candy: Just because everyone else is giving out Kit Kat bars this Halloween doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. The American Heart Association has a series of timely tips for the holiday, many of which revolve around alternatives to the traditional trick-or-treating experience. “No one said it was against the law to NOT pass out candy on Halloween, so don’t be afraid to be ‘that’ house that doesn’t,” AHA says. “Start a new tradition on your street and think about a healthier version of treats to give out.” Instead, share boxes of raisins, oranges dressed up like jack-o’-lanterns, juice boxes, or stickers instead, the association suggests.

Care for those teeth: Like the American Heart Association, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) are watching out for your health this weekend. “We recognize that on Halloween, children will enjoy eating candy. But along with the fun, parents should remember to encourage healthy habits for good oral health,” ODA President Dr. Gerald Smith said in a news release. “Tooth decay is a cause of concern for dentists especially around this time of year. Parents can help reduce the stress and health impacts associated with cavities by encouraging a routine that involves oral healthcare.” The associations recommend that parents ration the candy their kids bring home and that children brush their teeth after they eat their treats.

Careful with those jack-o’-lanterns: Halloween is a dangerous holiday on the fire-hazard front, thanks to all those candles lighting up all those jack-o’-lanterns. According to the National Fire Protection Association, decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 900 home fires per year, and 40 percent of those start with a candle. NFPA urges families to choose other options for both decorations and costumes—including using flashlights or glow sticks instead of candles. The association also recommends [PDF] that kids wear costumes that don’t have billowing or long-trailing fabric. Watch the clip above for more tips.

What’s your association doing this Halloween? Tell us about it in the comments.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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