Halloween is the second most popular time of the year for kids. Dressing up in spooky costumes and mingling with other kids, traipsing through the neighborhood seeking delicious sweets, and pulling innocent pranks are all a part of the annual festivities. In order to fully enjoy the holiday and have a spooktastic night, it is important to retain safety as well as maintain the well-being of excited children.
- Buddy up! Parents should be mindful not to allow their kids to trick-or-treat alone. No matter how mature they may seem, safety dictates that someone needs to accompany your child. It’s best to have at least another kid or even several more, plus a responsible adult to tag along to keep a watchful eye out for any mischief or danger. Take a fully charged cellphone with you while escorting kids, and if possible, plan ahead for a rendezvous point in the event kids become separated in their spirited frenzy.
- Costume cautions. No matter how awesome a costume is, the priority should always be safety. Kids should not have a mask that obstructs their vision. If possible, avoid masks and go the makeup route. Additionally, long costumes can cause a child to stumble or fall and thus ruin the fun. Hem up those long costumes! Props such as pitchforks, wands and the like can hamper mobility, especially when carrying a goody bag. If a prop is really needed, avoid sharp ones and use something that isn’t dangerous or cumbersome.
- Inspect those treats. Most parents expect their kids to have a tummy ache from too much sugar consumption. The temptation to munch sweets on the fly while trick-or-treating should be discouraged. It’s important to take a peek and sort through all the treats to determine any potential danger once your kids are home. Unpackaged items such as cookies or fruit should be discarded immediately, as good as they may appear, because there’s no way to know whether these items are safe to consume. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Plan your route ahead. Parents or guardians should plan a trick-or-treat route in advance. The closer to home your kids are, the better. Long treks can cause achy legs and wear your kids down thus causing frustration and cranky kiddos. Stay in known areas and stick to sidewalks and walking paths you are familiar with.
- Light ‘em up! Darkness can pose pitfalls to children. Aside from cars, cracks in the sidewalk, ditches, and trashy areas can be a nuisance and hamper walking. Wear comfy footwear that lights up if at all possible. In addition, use reflective tape on costumes, and arm your kids with flashlights or glow sticks to help illuminate your kids so they can be seen. Avoid candles and lit up jack-o-lanterns or pumpkins as they can cause a flash fire on a costume in a heartbeat.
Halloween is a great holiday for kids and adults alike. To make the most of your holiday fun, think wisely and don’t allow your emotions to get the better of your good judgment. Safety doesn’t have to be rigid to the point that it takes away the thrills of things that go bump in the night. Follow the guidelines above and you and your kids will be good to ghoul!