Over the years, Halloween observance has evolved into a light-hearted celebration associated with candy and fun-spirited pranks. Though tales of wicked witches, evil goblins and ghost haunting are merely part of the fun, safety precautions remain a necessary part of the merriment. High-tech devices and apps can help you stay connected to your kids.
Census Bureau estimates tallied 36 million trick-or-treaters roaming the streets on All Hallows' Eve in 2008. Previous years have shown Halloween as one of the heaviest wireless-calling days of the year. And Halloween typically ranks among the most popular days for picture or video messaging.? Last year MMS volume spiked 44 percent on Halloween over the previous week.
That is why AT&T has compiled a list of the following safety tips to keep in mind before your kids hit the streets in search of goodies:
Go mobile: Whether packing their personal cell or a temporary pre-paid phone, ensure each costumed child parading the streets has a fully-charged communication device in tow.
Secure the line of communication: Pre-program contact information of parents, neighbors and emergency services into your and your child's speed dial, and be sure they know how to access them with ease.
Ensure accessibility: Use a belt clip or carrying case to make sure phones do not get tangled in costumes.
Establish boundaries: Families should have in place a familiarized route for children to follow while out on the town. Mobile navigation tools can assist parents and kids in creating routes, and goblins on the go can reference maps throughout the evening. Similarly, service allows parents to easily and immediately locate a family member's whereabouts from their mobile device or PC so they can keep an eye on where the kids are.
Be in touch: Set up periodic alarms with Halloween-themed tones as a reminder for trick-or-treaters to text or call home to check in between candy collecting stops.
Keep ears on the ready: As part of a continued effort to remain aware of surroundings and keep smooth the lines of communication, sweet seekers should turn up phone volume and listen for incoming call and message alerts.
Don't miss a thing: Many phones have photo, video and audio recorders, allowing spur-of-the-moment happenings to be captured and shared among friends and family in real time. allows you to see live video on your handset while a voice call is taking place.
Be a wireless Samaritan: Any suspicious behavior must be immediately reported to the proper authority and shared among neighbors, whose numbers should be on hand and in reach.
Drive Safely: With pedestrians filling streets and sidewalks, it is more important than ever for drivers to stay alert behind the wheel. If a call needs to be made or a message checked, pull over. And remember, don't text while driving.