Little ghosts, vampires and not a few princesses will soon be overtaking the neighborhood, ringing doorbells and intoning that familiar phrase, “trick or treat!” While Halloween is supposed to be filled with fun, costumes and candy, there are also some precautions that need to be taken to ensure a good time is had by all. From flashlights to candy inspection, here are a few tips to keep your child safe this Halloween.
The costume is one of the most exciting parts of Halloween. Watching kids transform into their favorite characters is a treat in and of itself. When selecting your child’s costume, be sure the outfit fits properly to avoid tripping and other hazards. If plastic weapons are being used, see to it that they won’t be mistaken for the real thing.
Plan on adding a little makeup to complete the look? Before spreading it all over your child’s face or other parts of the body, test it on a small patch of skin to check whether they’re allergic to it. If your child wants to go for a masked look, just be sure their vision isn’t obscured.
The age-old rule for trick-or-treating is to only approach homes with a porch light on. Stick to blocks that are well lit and have working streetlights. If the block only has a few homes with lights on, you might want to avoid that area altogether. Make sure there are plenty of other people around trick-or-treating. Competition for candy may increase, but your child’s safety comes first.
Typically children begin their candy gathering after the sun goes down, so it’s never a bad idea to have some sort of portable illumination when traipsing through the neighborhood. Equip your child with a battery-operated flashlight for added visibility—you could even opt for a disposable version. Using flashlights helps your little ones to see better while moving from home to home and helps them to be seen by others, especially drivers.
Though your kids may want to dive fingers first into their treats, you should inspect their stash thoroughly before consumption. Tempting as it may be to devour a candy apple, fresh baked brownies, cookies and other homemade goodies procured during trick-or-treating, it may not be safe. Homemade treats could expose your children to harmful materials or allergens, so parents should consider removing these items from the rest of the loot. Check that the other items given to your trick-or-treaters are sealed completely and factory wrapped. Avoid any treats with broken seals or anything that gives the slightest appearance of being tampered with.
Children under 12 should always be accompanied by at least one adult. If you allow your child to go without you, be sure they stick with a group. It’s also helpful if at least one child in the group has a cellphone so an adult can be contacted if necessary.
Maintaining a safe environment for your children during Halloween is essential for a fun holiday. Whether your trick-or-treaters are newbies or more seasoned, it’s important to set boundaries so everyone has a good time. Enjoy this magical time of year with your kiddos, and don’t forget to save some candy for yourself!