Halloween is a holiday that every kid looks forward to. Whether it’s the prospect of going through the neighborhood getting candy, or a community group event like a church harvest festival, kids love dressing up, pretending, and getting rewarded for it! There are a few things to keep in mind, however, to make sure your kids stay safe during Halloween.
1. Choose Costumes Wisely
When choosing a costume for your child, think safety over looks. Make sure that the costume doesn’t cover their eyes. If the costume comes with a prop like a sword or wand, make sure that the end is dull enough that it won’t injure the child. If trick or treating is on the agenda, consider affixing some reflective tape to the sides of the costume, as well as on the child’s shoes to make him/her more visible. If possible, choose a costume that is brightly colored so drivers can see them at all times. Many children also wear glow in the dark bracelets or other items to help them stand out in dark areas.
2. Navigate Safely
Pre-plan your trick or treating route. If your child is old enough to venture out on their own, make sure you are aware (and approve) of their route. Don’t go up to homes with cluttered or dark porches. Always choose to trick or treat at homes that have their porch light lit. Check the Megan’s law website to ensure that there are no convicted criminals on your trick or treating route. Don’t run while trick or treating-always walk! If children are under 12 years old, it is recommended that an adult accompanies them. Make sure that children know the rules of the road for pedestrians, such as walking on the left hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic, if a sidewalk isn’t present. And finally, always make sure that children know to never go inside a stranger’s house. If you child is old enough, lend them a cell phone to use while trick or treating.
3.Check the Candy
Yes, it’s still important to check your child’s candy. When your child returns home with that bucket overflowing with treats, dump them out and make sure that each piece of candy has a wrapper fully intact. Discard any candies that have damaged or missing wrappers. Many parents also discard homemade treats, as a home kitchen may not employ food safety standards that are up to par.
4. Always Trust Your Instincts
If you feel a house doesn’t look right, or feel right, avoid it. If there are individuals on the street that seem dangerous, walk the other way. If a candy feels or smells “Off”, throw it away. Always trust your instincts!