What a great time of year: the air is crisp, the leaves are showing off their brilliant colors, and we’re edging up on the holiday season. If you’re like most families, you love Halloween. Houses are decorated, parties are held, costumes are chosen, and then all that candy! It’s a lot to think about, especially when you want to ensure a safe Halloween for your kiddos. Follow along as we share some top tips to stay safe and have fun this Halloween.
There’s a lot to be said about planning ahead to ensure success, and nothing’s different when it comes to creating a safe Halloween for your family. Sure, you need to plan your costume, but what about the real nitty-gritty?
Some things to think about when creating your game plan include:
- What time will you trick-or-treat? How long will you be out? Remember that little ones can’t walk miles and miles without rest—even if the end result is a bag of candy.
- Who will accompany the kids around the neighborhood? It could be you or your spouse/partner, or you may send your kids off with a group and those children’s parents.
- At what age will you allow your children to trick-or-treat without parents, in a group? Do your older kids have a curfew?
Talk all this over with your family and make some decisions. When children know what the expectations are, they’ll be more likely to adhere to them, which means fewer squabbles on the big day.
Light It Up
Being seen while out trick-or-treating is nonnegotiable for a safe Halloween. Reflective tape can be added to the back of costumes, but since kids love glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces, why not keep them safe and let them have a little fun?
Head to the dollar store and stock up on glow sticks. Hang them around your children’s necks and put one in their treat bag so they can see their goodies. Teenagers can take flashlights and attach a glow stick to their treat bag.
While checking and doublechecking the elements that will keep your kids safe this Halloween, look at their masks as well. Can they see through them? Some costumes provide limited visibility, which can be a huge hindrance in crossing streets or even walking down the sidewalk. If they can’t see well, remind your children to remove their masks when crossing the street or in between houses.
The weather on Halloween night will determine many of the things you’ll need to take with you. It could be warm or freezing. Of course, the must-haves are comfortable shoes, treat bags, and flashlights or glow sticks, but what else?
Good things to have with you on your trek include:
- Bottled water. All that walking can make you and your kiddos thirsty.
- Cell phone. Not only will this help with communication (especially if your pre-teens and teens are going out in a group), but it can also provide a map should anyone get disoriented. And there’s always the flashlight option on the phone.
- Warm jacket or blanket. Your child may want to show off that adorable princess dress, but on a cold evening, it’s just not going to keep her warm. Compromise by having her wear a warm jacket or snuggle in a blanket in between homes.
If you have littles, consider taking a wagon to carry everything. That way, kids can hop in when they’re tired or don’t want to carry their goody bags any longer. Also, a smaller bag for younger kids to carry up to the door is ideal, and then they can dump the candy in a larger bag in the wagon when it gets too heavy.
Set Ground Rules
Well in advance of the big day, and then again before everyone heads out to enjoy a safe Halloween, be sure to set and review your basic ground rules. These may include:
- When and how much candy they can eat. Many parents prefer to inspect their children’s haul before letting them dig in (a sound practice!).
- Which neighborhoods, roads, and homes to approach. Remind kids that lights off usually mean they’re not ready to welcome trick-or-treaters.
- Manners, including saying thank you to every person who gives them candy.
- Staying safe. If a situation or person feels weird to your child, encourage them to follow that instinct and get out of there; their instincts are probably right.
Community Choice Pediatrics Wishes You a Safe Halloween!
We love Halloween, and we are passionate about keeping your little ones safe and healthy. Enjoy a fun, safe Halloween, and if you need a new pediatrician, schedule your appointment today!