Staying Safe While Trick-Or-Treating
October 24, 2019 | by amanda ryan
Halloween is approaching, which means your kiddo is eagerly anticipating donning their costume, indulging in candy, and spending a night with their friends. With all this excitement and planning, don’t forget one important detail: safety while trick-or-treating.
There are plenty of simple things to practice and remind your child of before they venture out for a night of fun with their friends!
Here are our suggestions for staying safe while trick-or-treating…
1. Choose Your Costume Wisely
Around the time that children begin trick-or-treating, it is usually starting to get dark out. That being said, it is important to choose a costume that will make your kiddo easy to see in the dark for any cars driving around the neighborhood.
If the costume your child prefers isn’t naturally bright, consider putting a reflector on them, or having them carry a bright bag. Having them easy to spot will help them trick-or-treat safely in the dark.
Also, try to avoid any face masks that make it hard to see, as well as hanging cloth that pose a tripping hazard. Consider using makeup that is safe for your kiddo’s skin or hemming longer costumes. When it comes to trick-or-treating safety, a great place to start is with the costume itself!
2. Have a Plan Set
If you have younger children that need parental supervision, then this tip doesn’t apply to you quite as much. Having older kids who will trick-or-treat without an adult creates a need for a plan and boundaries.
If your child is trick-or-treating without an adult, have a route set up that they are expected to follow. Whether it’s one street, just your neighborhood, or the neighborhood across the street, set a perimeter for where you feel comfortable having your child go without you.
3. Refresh Them on Safety Rules
In all of the excitement that Halloween brings, kids can often forget the rules of safety. Shortly before they are supposed to leave, remind them of these rules.
Some helpful, basic rules are…
- Do not go to houses where the porch light is not on
- Avoid cutting through yards or dark, difficult to see shortcuts
- Do not go inside of any houses or cars, for any reason
- If you feel like something is wrong, try to find the nearest police officer, or call a parent
- Do not cross the road without looking both ways twice
- Avoid crossing in the middle of a street, go to the corners instead
- Stay as a group at all times and do not split up
- Be responsible and respectful- of people and property
It would also be a great idea to let them use a cell phone if they are out without you. Whether they are borrowing you or your partner’s, or they are using a starter phone, a line of communication in case of emergency is very helpful when it comes to safety. Show them how to use it and program any emergency numbers in it that they may need.
4. Check Their Candy Before They Dig In
While it is pretty uncommon, there have been times where people have tampered with the candy they are handing out to trick-or-treaters, putting in cleaning products, needles, or even razor blades.
Because of this, advising children to wait until they get home to eat their candy, and then checking through it is a great way to ensure that candy is safe to eat.
Look for any tears or strange-looking packaging and toss out homemade treats.
Also, the popular store-bought candy that is usually handed out on Halloween often contains the most common allergens, such as soy, dairy, gluten, or tree nuts.
Take a really thorough look through the ingredients if your kiddo has any of those common allergens.
5. Practice Safe Habits for Other Trick-Or-Treaters
If you live in a neighborhood where kids trick-or-treat, you will want to make sure that your home is safe for other trick-or-treaters as well. Make sure your porch light is working and remove any tripping hazards from your driveway or porch.
For example, large rocks, logs, hoses, or toys.
If you need to leave your house, be very careful of trick-or-treaters wandering around in the street. Back out of your driveway very slowly, checking thoroughly to make sure nobody is walking past your house. Drive slower through your neighborhood than you normally would and keep an eye out for children crossing.
Kids are not always as cautious as they should be, so it is important that you make up for it by practicing extra caution on Halloween night.
By practicing the most essential safety tips, you can be sure your Halloween will be as fun, safe, and spooky as possible!
Amanda Ryan is a freelance writer specializing in child and family content. Within this content area she has about 5 years of experience. Her love for learning about family life led to earning a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from Western Michigan University. She loves to research and write about the things that can help make parenting a little easier!