It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Ok, no it’s not. It’s actually the second most wonderful time of the year, especially if you’re a kid. It’s almost time for Halloween! Which for parents can mean even more stress, work, and worry than usual. But, in the name of fun for our kids we suck it up and deal with it. Unfortunately, we live in a time where there are many worries to consider when allowing our children to roam around and visit random people’s homes at night. The following is a list to help you keep your kids safe while having a great time on trick or treat night:
- When selecting a costume, look for one that is brightly colored and isn’t a fall hazard. The costume should fit snuggly and not hang in such a way that tripping could be an issue. Purchase costumes that are flame resistant as well when possible as there’s always the risk of getting too close to a jack o’ lantern. Also, be sure that shoes fit well. As a side note, many parents like to put reflective tape on their kids’ shoes to make it easier for them to be spotted in the dark.
- Trick or treat within your neighborhood or a neighborhood where you know some of the people who live there.
- Always stay on well lit streets but also carry a flash light just in case and use sidewalks when possible. Remind children of the rules for crossing a street.
- Always accompany young children along the trick or treat route. Even if you are friendly and comfortable with your neighbors, you can never be certain that someone with bad intentions who doesn’t live in the neighborhood isn’t lurking about.
- If you feel comfortable with allowing your older child to trick or treat without you, ensure that they go with a buddy and be aware of the route they plan to take and instruct them not to deviate from it.
- Review “stranger danger” rules with your kids. Remind them never to follow a stranger to a car or other location for candy or any other reason without first asking your permission.
- Remind children of the rules for what to do if they are separated from you or the group. A good plan is to tell them to look for a mother with children to ask for help.
- When possible, carry a cell phone or other device as a means of quick communication if necessary.
- Only go to homes that look “inviting.” These are homes with porch lights on and usually a friendly face in the doorway.
- Establish the rules for candy eating. It’s safest to implement a “no candy till we’re home” rule. This gives you the opportunity to look through the stash to ensure that all candy is wrapped and hasn’t been tampered with in any way.
Clearly there are dangers to consider when taking the kids trick or treating, but if these simple safety tips are followed, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a delightfully fun outing with your little one. So long as we are prepared and taking preventative measures, then your little ghosts and goblins should have a terrifyingly great time!