Writer / Abigail Hake
Kids (and parents) love the magic of Halloween. Walking around at night, in costume, collecting candy, what’s not to love? But there’s many aspects of the evening that get parents feeling nervous, which is why safety for the evening is especially important. Did you know only about one-third of parents discuss Halloween safety with their kids? But keeping Halloween safe is very important, not only for the safety of the kids, but also to keep the magical feeling of the night. Here are a few tips to help keep your little ones safe while trick or treating this year:
CHECK THE WEATHER AND BE PREPARED
Chances are it’ll be chilly, and if it isn’t when you head out, it will be by the time you head back as most fall nights are. Make sure to layer up if it’s going to be cold because you don’t want to be frozen in the middle of your trick or treating route!
STAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Join in on the fun and walk with them, even dress up if you like! At our house we take turns, one person hands out candy for an hour while the other takes the kids out and then we swap. If that’s not an option, maybe try to connect with a group of friends to trickor-treat together. You might also try to plan to have your kids go out with your neighbors, girl scout or cub scout troop, or even cousins. Always make sure there is some sort of adult supervision. In case you do get separated from your kids, make sure to review phone numbers, addresses and how to contact 911 in case of an emergency with your kids. Children can easily become lost on a dark Halloween night and these are small and easy reminders to practice and are important things to know for every day too.
Make sure to only visit homes with a porch light on and only approach doors that are well lit. ‑ is one can be tricky these days with automatic lights and decor. Use your best judgment and always remind the kids to never enter a home or car for a treat!
If your kids are going to be out a er dark then blinking LED safety lights are a great addition to the back of their costume or candy bag! Pick them up at any sporting goods store or order from Amazon. Not only will they stand out for you to see, but they’ll also attract the attention of others, keeping them extra safe. Reflective tape is another option that will make your child more visible when added to the back of their costumes or all sides of their candy bag.
While we know some costumes require the right shoe (hello Cinderella), let’s be real on Halloween night while trick-or-treating, no one wants their feet to be uncomfortable. Most costumes can handle rain boots or tennis shoes depending on the weather. Remember, the longer your feet feel good, the more candy you can get! Also, try to keep props to a minimum. If it’s part of the costume, make sure they are easily carried and it doesn’t have sharp edges or points. Try adding a strap to a sword, shield or really anything, so they can be thrown over the shoulder or held on your child’s back while walking from house to house.
Decide what streets you want to hit and which you’ll skip before you head out. ‑ ere’s nothing like walking a route that’s too far for a li le and ge ing stuck carrying them home. Make sure the route you pick is manageable for whatever ages are heading out the door. And don’t forget to always use the sidewalk and walk don’t run. Most injuries on Halloween are pedestrian injuries, so make sure to review routes, use ashlights and take your time!
We have all heard the horror stories of the candy that’s made kids sick and had harmful things in it. Maybe they were true, maybe they weren’t, but it’s still a good idea to check your kids’ candy for safety purposes and maybe pick out some of your favorites while you are doing it. Look for partially opened pieces, ones that look questionable or types the kids might be allergic to. ‑ there’s most likely going to be plenty, so pulling out one or two because they don’t seem like great quality will be fine. By keeping these ways to stay safe, you are sure to have a fun and happy Halloween with family and friends.