Wendy Poling
Frequent Contributor

Trick or Treating or attending a Fall Festival can be a fun, enjoyable evening even though your spouse is far from home. You might find yourself wanting to skip the whole evening and stay inside with your big bucket of candy. It can be hard to let go and have some fun while knowing your spouse is in harms way. Having all of these feelings is very normal. Taking time to enjoy those special days that come throughout the year is important. I'm not saying it will be easy, but allowing yourself to forget your troubles, even for an evening, can help you relax, lower your stress level and allow you to feel better.


When it comes to having your kids dress up for the evening, here are some safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:



  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters to:
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.



  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.



  • Coordinate the evening activities with other spouses in your command.
  • Find out if your installation is having a Halloween or Fall Festival.
  • If you don't have kids, consider throwing your own party with a milspouse friend or two and share the responsibilities.


Deployments can be long and emotionally draining. In the end, your spouse wants to know you are taking care of yourself, which includes trying to have a little fun along the way. Building relationships will be the key to your successful deployment experience. One of my best friend's mom used to say, "you don't need a lot of friends, you only need one good one." I encourage you to reach out, connect with a spouse(s) in your area and enjoy this time of year, with or without a scary costume!


For more tips visit: Halloween Safety Tips


How are you spending this Halloween?