Kids may not think about it, but Halloween safety is a top concern for many parents!
Every Halloween, many parents nervously take their children Trick or Treating, often feeling concerned that the child could be injured while they are out having a good time. Although there is no way to keep your child totally safe in all situations, there are a few Halloween safety tips you can follow to help reduce your chances of having something bad happen.
Go Out Before It Gets Dark
For the past few years, Daylight Savings Time doesn't end until after Halloween. This means that it stays light just a bit longer in most parts of the country. Especially with young children, a good Halloween safety tip is to take them out Trick or Treating while there is still a bit of daylight left. When you are outside in the early evening, it is easier for the drivers of cars and other vehicles to see your children. It is also easier for your children to see where they are going, so they are less likely to trip on an uneven sidewalk, or fall down a flight of stairs. Have your children walk near you, and not run too far away. In their excitement, they could run behind a car that is backing out of a driveway, or they could dash into the street.
Take Extra Precautions After Dark
If it is necessary to go Trick or Treating after dark, another Halloween safety tip is to be sure that your child wears light or bright colors. Add strips of luminous tape to the trim on their costume, as well as to the jack o' lantern or bucket that they are using to collect candy. If you don't have any reflective tape at home, you can use this direct Amazon link to reflective tape, stickers and other items. It will make your children much more visible to people driving cars.
Discourage them from running across dark lawns or other areas that are not well illuminated, because they could trip over something that they can't see. Make sure they have a flashlight. At night, it is even more important to insist that your children walk near you. Older children should go out with a group of friends, and they should be encouraged to stay in well-lit areas where they will be surrounded by many other children and adults. Children of all ages should be encouraged to paint their faces or wear make-up, rather than a mask. Masks tend to limit a person's ability to see, and makes everyone more likely to trip and fall.
Go to Familiar Neighbors
Although fears of hidden razor blades and poisoned candy seem to be a greatly exaggerated Halloween safety concern, it is still a good idea to limit your Trick or Treating to the neighbors and neighborhoods where you feel the most familiar and comfortable. If there does turn out to be a problem with the candy, you are more likely to have some idea where you received that particular item.
Check the candy!
Discourage your children from eating any candy while you are out walking around. As part of your Halloween safety awareness, wait until you get home so that you can be certain that none of the candy wrappers are torn. Aside from fears about being poisoned, this is just basic good hygiene. Remember that dozens of children may have put their hands in that bowl of candy before you got there! Don't let your children eat homemade Halloween treats unless you know the person who gave it to them.
Consider Alternative Celebrations
Many communities now sponsor alternative safe Halloween activities that do not expose the children to stumbling around in the dark. Churches, community centers, shopping malls, schools and other clubs and organizations often sponsor autumn or Halloween carnivals and parties that are designed to keep children off the streets. If an organization in your area is sponsoring such an event, you might take your children to it. Your kids may find that safe Halloween activities are even more fun than Trick or Treating. If they still insist on going Trick or Treating, combine the two events, but limit the Trick or Treating to just 10 or 20 homes near your own house.
Go to an Amusement Park
Many amusement parks have special Halloween events that are exciting and fun for children of all ages. This is a particularly good way to keep teenagers in a safe location on Halloween night. They will have an exciting time running around the amusement park, and you will feel confident that they are far safer than they would be running around your town in the dark!
Host Your Own Party
The ultimate Halloween safety activity would be for you to avoid taking your children Trick or Treating and instead let them throw their own Halloween party. You may find that other parents are supportive of the idea, and may even help you. Turn your garage into a "Haunted House." Let the kids paint scary faces on pumpkins, bob for apples, decorate cookies or make tie-dyed T-shirts. Come up with humorous names for the food that you serve. Plain buttered macaroni could be referred to as "guts." Tomato sauce is the blood! Serve a sheet cake in the shape of a pumpkin head. The ideas are limitless.
Use your imagination and you may find that there are lots of fun ways your family can have a sane and safe Halloween celebration!
You may also be interested in reading the following articles about family fun, Halloween, or children's safety:
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