Before your children get dressed up as little ghosts and goblins, zombies and princesses to go out into the night to trick-or-treat this Halloween, there are safety precautions that parents can take to make sure that the only howling they do is out of fun and excitement. No matter where you take your kids to trick-or-treat, you need to be very aware of your surroundings and never let them go off alone. These 10 safety tips are sure to keep trick-or-treat night safe and happy for your children!
10 Halloween Trick or Treat Safety Tips
- Each child should wear something that lights up: such as a flashlight, glow bracelet or necklace, or flashing attire for visibility. Light-up shoes are also practical, and ever-so-noticeable on a dark Halloween night.
- Adults should plan out a route in advance and check it during the daylight for such obstacles as broken sidewalks (or no sidewalks), construction timber, or other obstacles that could trip up trick or treaters. Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods or areas.
- Avoid costumes that drag on the ground. While cute initially, costumes that drag can trip up little feet, get caught on bushes, and create a tussle that sometimes results in the child wanting to remove the costume. Remember, kids who trick or treat want to be costumed AND comfortable.
- Be sure a child’s mask allows full visibility and breathing. Spiderman masks, for example, sometimes only have small eye slits and nothing for the nose or mouth. Parents should try on masks for size and not hesitate to cut out larger openings for a trick or treater’s comfort. If possible, find a mask that “breathes” and is easy to put on and off. The types of mask that easily can slide up on the head and then pulled down are best.
- Only carry flexible props, such as knives, swords, ninja items, etc., that can’t cause injury if a kid accidentally falls. No play prop should resemble the real item; and consider leaving play weapons at home and not part of trick or treat night. Remember, some individuals are offended by seeing small children carry these items; and trick or treating should be a fun and positive experience for everyone.
- Be sure kids don’t get over-heated and keep hydrated. Plan costumes according to weather; don’t have your child dress in an adorable lions costume with heavy fur and hood if you live in Southern states where temperatures could still be in the 80s in the evening; by the same token, a fairy costume might be impractical for a cold northern evening. Be one of those creative parents who accessorizes jackets or thinks “cool comfort” for their kids.
- Children of any age should be accompanied by a parent, if possible. Tweens or young teens who still trick or treat may resist this notion; if they trick or treat without an adult, set firm rules and require a child to carry a cell phone that can be used in the event of an emergency. Older kids should know where they can go, what etiquette they must follow, safety rules, carry a flashlight or a lit device, and have an absolute deadline for returning home.
- Purchased costumes should be made of flame-retardant material. Costumes should also be reflective of the local weather. Some parents overdress their kids so that they sweat and are uncomfortable in costumes that are very heavy or don’t “breathe.” Others freeze in skimpy costumes or those made of thin material. Trick or treating is for children; comfort and safety should come before a parent’s reluctance to have a child wear a coat over a costume.
- Feed your kids a healthy meal prior to going trick or treat. Your children will be happier, and it will help reduce the temptation of kids wanting to devour candy from the first trick or treat stop.
- Never allow children to eat candy before it is inspected. Any opened candy should be thrown away, and unless you personally the families who make homemade goodies, it is recommended that you dispose of homemade treats. Immediately toss any items that are suspect in any way, and get rid of (either through donation or throwing away) any treats that your kid doesn’t like. Some parents also put away some candy and save for later or set rules allowing kids to eat all they want for a designated period, then dispose of the rest.
Have a safe and spooky fun time this Halloween trick or treat night, and if you have any other suggestions for child safety during trick or treat, please tell us in the comment box below! Happy Halloween!
We hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween! We’d also love to see pictures of how you enjoyed it, whether it be your children in costumes, pets in costumes, how you decorated, or parties you attended. Please feel free to post them on our Facebook Page.
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