Children everywhere are slowly beginning their transformation into zombies, princesses, and characters from their favorite movies. Adults are preparing outfits they would only dare wear once a year. Halloween is upon us!
On October 31st, kids across the country will excitedly wear their favorite costumes and claim tasty treats in the name of trick or treating. Parents can help make sure this Halloween is thrilling, chilling, and safe by keeping the following things in mind:
-Make sure the costume is safe
-Have a trick-or-treating plan of action ahead of time
-Consider going out in groups
-Perform a candy check
Halloween Costume Safety
Half the fun of Halloween is dressing up. People go to great lengths to make their costumes just right. When putting your costumes together, remember that safety is a key component.
Halloween revelers are likely to pass by plenty of jack-o-lanterns and candles. Are your kids wearing fire retardant costumes? Check the labels before you buy.
If the costume includes a mask, make sure it provides a clear line of vision. Expand the eye holes yourself, if necessary. It’s important for the costume wearer to be able to see…and be seen.
Halloween costumes are often dark in color. Will drivers see your kids clearly? You can always add reflective tape to make them stand out.
Some costumes include props, such as a toy sword or ax. These items should be soft, flexible, and small enough for a child to carry safely.
Be Prepared This Halloween
Are your kids trick or treating this year? You may want to choose a route in advance. Decide which blocks and houses your children should visit. As an extra precaution, check a criminal records database for registered sex offenders in the area. Or perform an address lookup on any address along their path to see if you can get any information on the occupants.
It gets dark quickly in October. Every group should have at least one flashlight. Add new batteries so it has plenty of power.
Choose an adult or teenager to accompany young kids on Halloween. Have them carry the flashlight, and a cell phone.
Halloween Safety In Numbers
Every group should have a chaperone. That person is in charge of everyone’s safety. They must keep the kids together at all times, and be especially vigilant when crossing the street. When kids approach each house, the chaperone should be nearby to keep an eye on everyone. No child should ever enter a stranger’s house unsupervised.
Not able to take the kids out yourself? Before sending your little goblins out, give them a piece of paper with your name and number. If a child gets lost, this will enable a responsible adult to contact you immediately. Give the chaperone a list that includes the name of each child in the group. Include their parent’s names and phone numbers.
If your kids are a bit older, they can join up with friends when trick-or-treating. There tends to be more safety in numbers, as well as simply providing a good opportunity for them to spend some fun time together.
Halloween Candy Safety
As soon as the trick or treating adventure is over, kids will want to dive into their goody bags. But adults should look through the Halloween treats first. Give a once-over to every snack your child receives before they eat anything. Make sure each one is individually wrapped. If anything looks like it may have been tampered with, throw it away.
Parents usually tell their children not to take candy from strangers. This can cause some confusion on Halloween night. Tell your kids that Halloween is a special occasion, like other annual holidays. Explain that it’s the only time they can accept candy from people they don’t know – but that it still must be checked thoroughly first.
With just a little extra caution, you can have your kids enjoy the fun and fright of Halloween, while still protecting them from real dangers. With that, have a safe and thrilling Halloween!