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Tips for Keeping Trick or Treaters Safe on Halloween

Published October 13, 2011        by Nicole

Flickr photo credit: thomas pixHalloween is a night kids look forward to all year. It’s fun for them to dress up as someone else and head out into the night in search of yummy delicious holiday chocolates. Since it gets dark so early in the Fall, children Trick or Treat in the dark. Keep some safety tips in mind so that everyone makes it home safely.

  • Never let small children out to Trick or Treat alone. Even if they know the neighborhood, it’s not a good idea to send them without supervision. Not only are the decorations spooky for youngsters but with people out in costume it may be hard for your child to recognize stranger danger.

  • All costumes should be checked for visibility. If you’ve dressed your little one as a ghost and they can’t see out of the eyeholes or might trip on fabric, it’s best to alter the costume so it’s shorter and easier to see out of. Same goes for store bought masks. Often they look ideal on the outside, but inside your child can’t see well enough to walk or their breathing may be impaired. Double check before purchasing anything that will cover a child’s head.

  • All halloween candy that Trick or Treaters collect should be thoroughly checked by an adult before any child touches it. Pranksters have been known to tamper with candy and children have gotten poisoned or worse. The urban legend of the razor blade in the apple is a word to the wise.

  • Not every neighbor is friendly. Teach your children to avoid any houses that are dark or that are unfamiliar to them. Instruct them never to enter anyone’s house, especially when they don’t know the people. They may get so excited about going in for free candy that they forget your warning. Another good reason for you to stay closely by their sides.

  • Cars are a hazard on Halloween night. Children often head out for Trick or Treating right about the time people are driving home from work. A tired or distracted driver may not expect a child to be walking down the road in the dark and may not see them until it’s too late. Have your child wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. Make sure they stay on the sidewalks and never cross the street alone or when a car is coming.Flickr photo credit: Randy Son of Robert

  • Older siblings may offer to take younger ones out on the big night. Depending on your level of comfort and your neighborhood, you might consider driving them or walking along. While an older sibling will often be a perfectly fine babysitter at home he could get distracted by a fancy light show at one house or a ghoulish display at another. One distracted moment and your younger child could get lost or worse. On this one night you may want to insist that you chaperone.

  • Check your child’s costume not only for warmth if you live in a colder climate but also for mobility. That dog suit may seem fine in the house when your child tries it on, but out in the 40 degree night, your child may end up miserable and shivering. When in doubt, add layers under the costume so you can still see the costume but your child will stay warm. Also, have your child test walking outside in his costume. It’s one thing to try a costume on in a store aisle and another to have to walk in it in the dark. Any clunky shoe covers (paws) or oversized gag shoes (clown) will have to be monitored.

  • You want your child to have a good time, but Halloween often brings out the zanier people. Don’t cave in if your child insists you’re being overprotective and unfair by coming with them. If they’re whining about you being there, they’re not mature enough to be out on their own at night.