Happy Halloween! This is it! The kids have changed their minds about costumes no less than 5 times, the pumpkins are carved and lit, and all that’s left is the magical night of trick or treating. Halloween is beyond exciting for kids (and some adults!). They’re hyper, distracted, and determined to stay up and eat as much candy as possible.
According to healthychildren.org, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night of the year. So before sending your little ones out for the night, here are some safety tips to make sure spooky doesn’t turn into scary.
Costumes should be hemmed short enough so that tripping is not a hazard. Shoes should fit properly. Make sure costumes, wigs, and accessories are flame resistant. Consider adding reflective tape to costumes or trick-or-treat bags to make them more visible. Have kids carry glow sticks or a flashlight.
At home, remove tripping hazards from the lawn or porch for visiting trick-or-treaters. Check outdoor lights and replace burned out bulbs. Sweep wet leaves from the sidewalk and steps. Make sure any pets are restrained so that they don’t jump on or bite any of the visitors to your home. Consider using a flashlight or glow stick to light your jack-o-lantern. Make sure pumpkins are out of the path of trick-or-treaters.
While trick-or-treating, accompany kids under the age of 12 as they make their rounds. If older children are going alone, make sure to plan and review a route. Only visit homes with a porch light on. Never enter a home or car for a treat. Bring your phone or any other electronic device for emergencies, but keep eyes open and stay alert while walking. Always use the sidewalk and avoid cutting across yards or alleys.
Give kids a good meal prior to trick-or-treating. This may help discourage filling up on Halloween treats.
For trick-or-treaters with food allergies, check out information from Food Allergy Research and Educations’ Teal Pumpkin Project. The Project promotes safe trick-or-treating options such as glow sticks, spider rings, fangs, pencils, bubbles, bookmarks, and stickers.
Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Examine treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.
Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween. This is a great opportunity to teach kids about moderation, balance, and healthy indulging.