It’s time for Halloween, which is up there alongside Christmas on the kid calendar. You want your kids to go out and have a great time, but you want them to be safe. Halloween is generally a safe time, but it’s important to be extra mindful. After all, your kids are going out, possibly alone and knocking on strangers doors.
Even if you’re with your kids, things can happen. It’s dark, the roads are full of children and there are more drunk drivers out than there are normally.
With all this said, you might not want to let your kids go out for Halloween at all. This isn’t necessary, however. There are a few simple tips that can help you to keep your kids safe when they go out for Halloween, ensuring that they have a great time but also that they come back in one piece.
It All Starts With The Costume
The first place where you can begin making your kids safer for Halloween is with their costume. Masks have gotten a lot better over the years, but make sure that your kids have good visibility in the mask, allowing them to be aware of their surroundings. Face paint is your best option, but isn’t always possible.
Light colors are better than darker ones for visibility. Still, if your kid is stuck on being the Grim Reaper for Halloween, you can make them safer by attaching reflective stickers to their all-black costumes that will catch the light from cars. Glow sticks and flashlights are another way to increase the visibility of your children when they’re walking around dark streets.
Be mindful of accessories that go along with the costume.Anything your kid can trip over or anything that can injure your child if they trip and fall over something else should be avoided.
Finally, the costume should fit properly. Improperly fitting costumes makes the possibility of trips and falls.
Keep The Walk Safe
Generally speaking, kids under the age of 12 should not be out trick or treating by themselves. This means you can supervise how they’re walking, making an opportunity to teach safety in general while keeping them safe on Halloween night.
Sidewalks and paths should always be followed – stay out of the road. In the event that you live somewhere where there are no sidewalks, make sure to walk toward oncoming traffic so that you can see what’s coming at you. Stay as far to the side of the road as you possibly can.
Electronic devices should be in your pocket unless you absolutely need them. If you’re on your phone checking the scores or the news or the stock market, you’re not going to be able to properly look after your kids (especially small children) while they’re out on their walk for the night.
If your kids are going out by themselves, you want to have a conversation with them about electronic devices and distracted walking – and how dangerous it can be.
Stranger Danger: How Real Is It?
Despite horror stories you might have heard about tainted candy, this is extremely rare and generally used as a cover for a parent poisoning their own child, as sick as that might sound.
Children should, however, be taught to exercise caution around adults that they don’t know. Older children going out by themselves should only go out in groups. Tell them to use the “buddy system” to make sure that everyone gets back to their homes safely.
It’s probably a conversation that you have already had with your children many times, but Halloween is the perfect time to have it again: Tell them never to enter a stranger’s home or get into a stranger’s car, even if the stranger says they need to do this for candy.
Finally, talk to your children and make sure that they know how to dial 9-1-1. Chances are good that if your kid is going out by themselves, they know how to do this, but a quick review won’t cost you anything – except maybe a couple eye rolls and groans. Even smaller children being accompanied by you should know how to do this in the event that anything happens to you while you’re out for the night.
What are some worries you have about your kids’ trick or treating? What are you doing to keep them safe? Leave your tips for other parents in the comments below.