Halloween is an exciting time for kids looking to dress outlandishly and score some free goodies, but for parents, as enjoyable as the holiday can be, it can also be a little worrisome. And based on news reports of past years, there are some legitimate dangers associated with the holiday that go beyond the razor-blades-in-candy stories.
Here are a few basic, common-sense safety tips that can help you can focus more on the fun and not so much on the worry:
- Stick to neighborhoods you know. Whether you go out with your child or not, it’s important not to stray into unfamiliar neighborhoods.
- Carry goodies so your kids won’t be tempted to snack on treats before they get home. Inspecting treats before your kids eat them is almost as much of a Halloween tradition as carving pumpkins. Having a few special goodies on hand can prevent kids from munching on treats before you have a chance to look them over.
- Use reflective tape or bright white elements and avoid the all-dark costumes that can reduce visibility. There are plenty of cars on the road on Halloween, and since most trick-or-treating takes place after dark, it’s important to do all you can to make sure your kids can be seen by drivers. Adding reflective tape to the front and back shoulders and elsewhere on the costume will help drivers see your kids even if your kids are too distracted to see the cars.
- Make sure masks don’t obstruct vision. Your child needs to be able to see traffic, curbs, steps and other obstacles to avoid accidents. Be sure their mask allows for clear vision straight ahead and, if possible, to the sides as well. Also avoid putting makeup right around the eyes – perspiration can cause greasepaint to run, resulting in irritation and tearing.
- Keep bottom hems well above the ground. What small child doesn’t love a flowy princess or Dracula costume? Just be sure to keep the bottoms of the garments above your child’s feet to avoid tripping hazards.
- Make sure your child goes trick-or-treating in a group. Unless you’re taking your child trick-or-treating yourself, make sure your child goes with a group of friends you know and trust, and be sure to know which route they’re taking. Also be sure your child’s cellphone is charged and turned on at all times.
It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the fun of Halloween – after all, getting dressed up in crazy costumes, hanging out with your friends and getting free candy is what it’s all about. Following a few simple safety tips can help you feel more at ease about your child’s activity without interfering too much in their own sense of adventure.