On my eldest son’s first Halloween as a toddler, the very first door we knocked on, he waited until they opened the door, and then just strolled right on in. Granted the nice little old grandma who lived there though it hilariously cute and gave him extra candy as a result, but this is just one example of how kids, particularly younger kids, can face unexpected dangers while trick-or-treating on Halloween. At this point, I have myself three candy-craving gremlins to wrangle, so I’ve put my own Halloween safety tips to the test. Let’s review for me, and share for you, shall we?
Halloween safety tips: Costume Selection
Remember you’ll be trudging around door to door when you dream up your child’s costume. Some kids are less than graceful, which can lead to lots of trips and falls. Where I live at least, there is also always snow and ice by Halloween. Make sure your costume choice accommodates good shoes. They should be appropriate for the weather — in my case, winter boots with good traction. Costumes for kids that are in that less than graceful category or toddlers should also not hang much below mid-calf. Long, flowing costumes can easily pose a tripping hazard.
On the costume note, watch out for dangly hanging strings, or pointy accessories. You know what your kid’s personality is by now, so use your best discretion. For example, I know my younger son would beat his brother if I gave him a plastic axe. Enough said.
Halloween safety tips: Helping your kids see and be seen:
Depending on what corner of our little earth you reign from, it could possibly be very dark when you’re trick or treating. You can opt to go earlier in the day if you prefer, or take steps to make your child visible. Some of the coolest options I’ve found yet are flash lights that change colors, finger lights or glow stick options which now come in all sorts of shapes from just necklaces and pendants to face masks. My kids absolutely love all of the above. They actually play with them all year long, and when they have them outside they’re hard to miss. You can also place reflective tape on both sides of your child’s costume.
Halloween safety tips: Become a candy inspector:
Let’s be honest, many kids do not have the best impulse control; heck, most of them have no impulse control. I remember the second thing my son did on his first Halloween was shove the candy he’d been given in his mouth. This can mean two things: regularly checking your child’s candy or taking it away between houses. On the first count, be on the lookout for opened packages or pieces that looked tampered with. Also avoid letting your child eat homemade treats unless you know the giver well, particularly if your child has allergies.
Halloween safety tips: Stay close
This one is, of course, dependent on age, but for younger kids, avoid say parking you car at the end of the street and just letting your kids walk up the street and back down alone. There’s so pretty messed up people in this world that are not above ruining Halloween fun. For older kids, consider allowing them to borrow you cell phone or getting them a cheap disposable one for certain occasions. For example, I have a Tracfone that cost me less than $10 and another $19.99 every few months for minutes so I don’t have to worry so much about my phone getting broken.
Halloween safety tips: Educate your kids
Probably the most effective way to keep your kids safe this Halloween is to educate them of both the possible dangers they could face while trick or treating, such as strangers, and just general safety tips, such as car and road safety.
Finally, just as a throwing-it-out there tip from the mom of an ultra-sensitive skin child, you may want to test any face paint you may use on your kids on a small patch of skin before the big day. Have a happy, safe Halloween.
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