Taking the kids trick-or-treating can feel like a daunting task for some. From coordinating the costume, neighborhood(s) to visit, safety concerns and more – there are a lot of moving pieces that can feel overwhelming. Thankfully we have some great tips to help you make it through this Halloween with peace of mind. Take a look at the tips below and/or click on the link at the bottom so you can print the information to take with you!
ALL DRESSED UP
• Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
• Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
• Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
• When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
• If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
• Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
• Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
CARVING A NICHE
• Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, then parents can do the cutting.
• Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
• Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
HOME SAFE HOME
• To keep homes safe for visiting Trick-or-Treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
• Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
• Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks/steps.
• Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a Trick-or-Treater.
• A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young kids on neighborhood rounds.
• If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time to return home.
• Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
• Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
• Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
• Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
• Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
• If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
• Never cut across yards or use alleys.
• Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
• Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
• Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
• A good meal prior to parties and Trick-or-Treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
• Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
• Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
• Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.