Halloween is a special time for kids (of all ages), but as fun as it can be, it can also be a dangerous time for trick-or-treaters who haunt the streets in droves once the sun goes down. If your child will be heading out this Halloween, here are a few safety tips that can make their journey less nerve-wracking for you (and safer for them):
- Choose costumes that are more like “normal” clothing. Avoid flowing or draping garments that can get caught, walked on or tripped over. Clothing that’s constructed more like regular clothing with pants or skirts that come well above the tops of feet is also more comfortable to wear. Also be sure your kids no to look out for (and avoid) burning candles in Jack-o-lanterns that may be placed on home steps.
- Keep masks small and be sure they don’t obstruct vision. Instruct your child to remove their mask (or push it up on top of their head) when walking between homes or climbing steps to avoid tripping. Or ditch the mask and use some face paint. Just be sure to avoid the area right around the eyes.
- Don’t let young kids go trick-or-treating without an adult. It may be OK for teens and even responsible preteens to go in groups of friends, but younger kids need to be supervised by an adult (it’s OK to hang back a bit at each destination to avoid causing embarrassment).
- Review safety instructions, especially regarding traffic safety, before going out. Even the savviest kid can get caught up in the fun of trick-or-treating, leaving them at a much higher risk for being struck by a vehicle. Underscore the need to cross roads carefully and be sure your child’s costume can be easily seen by drivers, even if it means adding reflective tape.
- Carry some snacks and maybe a water bottle to prevent kids from snacking on treats before you have a chance to inspect them. Although studies show actual tampering of candy rarely occurs (despite the prevailing perception), you don’t want your child to be one of the statistics. Be sure any treats are carefully inspected before your child eats them.
- Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, and if your child is going out with a group of friends without you along, be sure you know which neighborhoods they’ll be visiting and, if you can, establish a route ahead of time.
Sure, your child may think Halloween safety is a drag, but as a parent, following a few simple tips can make all the difference in your own enjoyment of the holiday.
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