Between the little ghosts and ghouls running around, the buckets of candy and the general merriment of Halloween, it can be easy to overlook safety. But it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, so keep things spooky and safe this year. Read on for a handy reminder of Halloween safety guidelines on this and every Halloween.
- Keep in mind that lighter-colored costumes are easier to see at night. If your child has his heart set on a dark costume, use reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape on the trick-or-treat bag, or have him carry a glow stick or a flashlight.
- If your child is wearing a mask or wig, make sure she can still see, hear and breathe comfortably.
Pro parent tip: Glow stick necklaces and bracelets can be a fun way to keep your child visible in the dark.
Trick or Treating
- Don’t let young children (under age 12) trick or treat alone. If older children are planning to head out alone, take time to plan a route together so you know where they’re going. Decide on a curfew, and make sure someone in the group has a cell phone.
- Limit trick or treating to your neighborhood and the homes of people you know. Avoid homes with porch lights that are turned off. Never go inside a home or a car to get a treat.
- Be aware that pedestrian injuries are the most common injury on Halloween night. It’s important to stay in a group, use sidewalks, and stay in well-lit neighborhoods.
- Stay out of alleys and side yards.
- Use crosswalks, and be sure that cars see you before you cross the street. Remember that it can be difficult to see dark costumes at night.
- Call the police if you notice anything suspicious or illegal.
Pro parent tip: Remind your child of the niceties – A cheerful “Trick or treat!” should always be followed with a polite “Thank you! Happy Halloween!”
- Give your child a filling meal before trick or treating so he isn’t tempted to snack on too many treats.
- After trick or treating, empty your child’s bag onto a table. Check to make sure every treat is sealed. Throw out any candy that has torn packages or holes. You should also toss homemade treats unless you know exactly who made them.
- Gum and hard candies can be a choking hazard to small children, so sort your little one’s candy appropriately.
- Try to ration all that candy to avoid sugar highs and tummy aches.
Pro parent tip: Don’t want all that candy around? We don’t blame you! Offer a trade instead – let your child choose five pieces to keep, then trade the rest of her haul for something like a toy, a book or a special outing.
Handing Out Candy
- Keep visiting trick-or-treaters safe at your house. Turn on outside lights, put pets in a back garden or in another room, and make sure there’s an unobstructed path to your front door.
- Instead of traditional candy, consider handing out goodies like pencils, stickers, glow sticks and, dare we say it, even toothbrushes!