As Halloween creeps around the corner, here are some tips to keep in mind for a safe and successful trick-or-treating experience this year:
If possible, let your children pick costumes that are brightly colored. Bright colors are easier to see in the dark. For darker costumes, customize them with reflective strips or glow-in-the-dark lights and necklaces for safety.
Masks can make or break the perfect Halloween costume, but they can also hinder a child’s ability to see clearly or breathe properly. If a mask is necessary, ensure that it fits comfortably: i.e. appropriate-sized eye holes and proper ventilation. A safer alternative is face paint or makeup – just make sure to test the products on a small area of skin first in case they provoke allergies or skin reactions.
Watch the Clock
The unspoken rule that trick-or-treating can only start after dark is a myth. The activity can begin in the late afternoon or even after an early dinner, just a tad bit before dusk. If your children are going out unsupervised with a group of friends, make sure to establish at least one “check-in” time.
Remember Street Smarts
Ensure that your child understands (and follows) basic traffic rules, such as how and when to cross the street, how to use crosswalks, and the importance of following walk signals when crossing large intersections. Also make sure that they know they should stay on track and avoid shortcuts, no matter how tempting they might be.
Explore, but safely
Begin your trick-or-treating adventure in familiar neighborhoods, and encourage your children to first visit the houses that you know. If you don’t know a neighbor or aren’t comfortable with their house, simply avoid it! Your children should know to only trick-or-treat from porches and to never enter a person’s house while trick-or-treating. Remind them that if a porch light is turned off, they should always skip that house.
Scan your Sweets
Remind your children to not indulge in their treats until they get home. It’s your job to check the candies, chocolates, and treats for any allergies your children may have and to separate anything that seems suspicious. Keep an eye out for unwrapped candy and homemade treats in particular.