Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights for many children and is all about festive and spooky costumes, lots of candy and ghoulishly good fun. But, it’s important to remember that trick-or-treating can lead to serious injuries if you’re not careful. Here’s a few simple safety tips to check out before taking your children out on Halloween night:
- Make sure costumes fit—this can be a hard one! It’s cheap and easy to try and reuse that hand-me-down ghost costume your oldest child wore years ago but if it’s way too big, it can be a hazard. Just make sure the hems on costumes are about ankle length to avoid tripping or falling. It’s also important to wear shoes that fit well.
- Choose non-flammable costumes—many people still use real candles in their jack-o-lanterns so it’s best to find a fabric that 100% synthetic (like polyester or nylon) just to be safe.
- Teach kids the road rules—This is a great opportunity to educate kiddos about crosswalks, looking before crossing a street, paying attention to cars, etc. Also, take advantage of sidewalks if your area has them available, and always face the direction of oncoming traffic. Don’t forget, if you’re driving in the neighborhood, slow down!
- Take it down a notch—speaking of slowing down, it’s important that kids take the time to walk from house to house. You don’t want them to twist an ankle in a dark yard or take the risk of darting in front of car in the road or driveway. There will be plenty of candy to go around!
- Brighten things up—Take a flashlight so your walking path is always lit, and have the kids carry glow sticks, or wear glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets. Reflective tape is always an option to stand out as well.
- Stay in a group—There’s safety in numbers so it’s probably best to not trick-or-treat alone. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood, you need to stay close to a few friends or trusted adult for older kids (the more the merrier)! If you’re the only adult chaperoning a group of kids, just keep tabs on where everyone is. It’s easy for kids to get distracted and venture off.
- Don’t eat homemade treats—it’s tempting to gobble down that homemade popcorn ball but unless you know the person, you’ll probably want to stick to the pre-packaged candy. For little kids especially, make sure you go through their candy haul before they eat anything.
- Divvy up the loot—it’s easy to get carried away with eating too much sugar on Halloween. To avoid the crazy sugar rush, let your kids pick out a few pieces of their favorite candies to eat and save the rest for a treat in their lunchbox, dessert after dinner or a special treat for helping around the house.
- Watch out for allergic reactions—if your child has a nut allergy, many houses will put out a teal pumpkin on their porch to let others know they are passing out Halloween items that are allergy free or non-edible (things like silly vampire teeth, crayons with little coloring books, or plastic spider rings or necklaces).
- Be cautious— Emphasize to always stay polite and use your manners, but don’t enter a stranger’s home no matter how nice they are. It’s also probably safer to just skip the dark house on the block. You may want to let your kids know to stick to the houses with their lights on.
Whether you’re trick-or-treating in the same place you’ve always gone door-to-door, in your new neighborhood, or trying out a up and coming area where you’re thinking about buying a home, remember to stay safe this Halloween!