As a child, not only is Halloween significant as it’s the beginning of the holidays that span from October through December, its one of the most memorable holidays. Kids plot for months about what they’re going to dress up as, get to stay up past bedtime, run around in the dark and collect a year’s supply worth of candy!
Parents look forward to Halloween too, but while we’re not only looking to make sure it’s memorable and fun, our priority is always to make sure our children are safe. Staying up late, cruising the neighborhood after dark and dressing up as a superhero or favorite character is something your kids start talking about in late summer and don’t stop talking about until early November.
This is a comprehensive list of Halloween Safety Tips to ensure you and your family stay safe, but also have a blast trick-or-treating the night away!
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GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
Stay Visible – Make sure that you and your children can be seen by cars, other trick or treaters and neighbors when you’re out. If you hit a dark patch on the street where there aren’t any houses with lights on or a street lamp is out, your kids will still be visible to you.
- Decorate costumes, bags, and shoes with reflective tape.
- Grab a bag of glowstick necklaces or bracelets and make your children wear them. Not only do you want to stay visible for cars and other trick-or-treaters, you want to always have an eye on your kids.
- Have your kids carry flashlights or green light sticks so they can make sure to watch where they’re going and won’t trip on anything on the sidewalk, street, or people’s yards.
Older Kids Out On Their Own – Children under the age of 13 shouldn’t be alone trick or treating and should always be accompanied by an adult. If your child is 13 or older, you may be more comfortable with them trick or treating without you, if you do, make sure they’re going in a group, have a cell phone on them and you’ve mapped out an agreed upon route to follow. Set a return time for them to be home.
Avoid Costumes with Masks When Walking – try to avoid costumes with masks, if you can. If you can’t, have your kids take off their mask or wear it on their heads until they get to the next house so that when they’re walking on sidewalks and streets, their vision isn’t impaired, making them prone to tripping, falling or possibly not seeing cars driving or backing up.
- Don’t let your children eat candy along the way, if you can. Make sure you examine all of the treats they’ve collected and look for candy that may have been tampered with, spoiled or unusual looking or smelling items that could be harmful. While candy tampering is very rare, you should always use caution.
- Eating homemade treats made by neighbors and strangers is also a big no-no. You have no idea what they could have used while cooking the treats and it’s not worth the risk of finding out the hard way.
- Teach your children that they can only accept candy and treats in the doorway or outside of a home, and to never go into someone’s home.
- Make sure the costumes your children wear fit them well and are not too big, baggy or obtrusive and will make walking difficult. Ill-fitting costumes can increase the risk for falling and tripping.
- If you live in a cold weather climate, if you can avoid a warm-weathered costume such as a mermaid, that’d be best. However, if you can’t and your child’s heart is set on being Ariel from the Little Mermaid, throw on long underwear, several layers and bring a sweater for when the temperatures start to dip.
- Make sure the costume you choose is flame-resistant and always avoid walking or standing near an open flame, candles or luminaries.
- If you can, avoid extra long and pointy costume accessories such as swords, cane, guns that can cause harm if your child falls, but can also harm other children if they’re used improperly.
- It’s probably a no-brainer, but let the actual pumpkin carving be done by parents. Kids can pick out a desk, draw shapes and faces and then the parents can carve them out with a pumpkin carving knife. But first, let them get all the goop and seeds out, a task they’ll most likely enjoy. If you have a spare pumpkin or two, let your kids decorate their own with paint and stickers, but save the knives for adults only.
- Use a flashlight or battery-operated tea lights instead of a real candle inside the pumpkins for home and guest safety. Make sure you keep pumpkins with a flame away from curtains, easily flammable material and they are set on a sturdy table or the ground to avoid being knocked over.