Zoinks! Halloween is almost here! As we near the home stretch into our favorite spooky holiday, you probably are busily planning your costume choices as well as lots of exciting activities for the night. These likely include parties and/or trick or treating! In order to make your Halloween the most fun ever, here is our list of top 10 Halloween safety tips to ensure that your Halloween is not only thrilling and exciting but is enjoyed completely without a hitch!
Eat! Having a hearty as well as filling meal before you send your kids out for trick or treating is important. First of all, you do not want the kids to be hungry, thus tempted to dip into their stash while they are out going house to house collecting candy. Secondly, it’s a long evening for you as well–avoid all temptations by making a simple yet filling meal before the evening festivities begin. Crockpot dinners or a pot of hearty soup are both great ideas for pre-Halloween meals.
Wear it Safe: Have a ‘try-on’ night a few nights before Halloween to ensure that costumes fit correctly. Hem any long skirts or fabrics that may be potential trip hazards. Make sure that any props that are being used (plastic knives, swords, etc.) don’t have any sharp or jagged edges that may be harmful even if they are made of plastic. Make sure that masks (if worn) fit your child’s head properly. It may be a good idea to avoid the use of masks with very young children as sometimes if they don’t fit precisely right it can make it hard to see properly.
Light your way: Make sure you can see as well as be seen! Having a costume that is made out of some reflective fabric is obviously a great idea but if this isn’t possible you can easily add reflective tape to costumes so you can become more visible at night. Glow sticks or neck rings are a fun addition to some costume choices and will help increase your visibility. Make sure and carry a flashlight with fresh batteries inside to light your way.
Let’s talk about it: Talk about the trick or treating route with your kids, even if you plan on being with them. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling of looking up and not seeing your child in a virtual sea of costumed kids. If your child is older and trick or treating with his friends, have a clear understanding of where his intended route is going to be and make sure he sticks to it. If your child has a cell phone, make sure that she touches base with you at predetermined intervals.
Don’t touch that! Have a clear understanding with your child that no treats are to be eaten until you’ve had a chance to look them over and inspect them carefully. When you do look at your child’s goody bag, (aside from sneaking one or two of your favorites), throw out anything that looks like it’s not wrapped correctly. When in doubt, throw it out!
Don’t even go there: Have ‘the talk’ with your child before they head out and make sure that they understand that under no circumstances are they to enter anyone’s home or car. Explain to them that you would never ask someone to come and pick them up; if this is a possibility have a code word that only you and your child know that must be spoken in case of an emergency. Have them always use caution around strangers that might be out and about as well. Always make sure your child trick or treats in a group, no child should ever trick or treat alone.
Things that might bite: No we’re not talking about vampires here. Sometimes people dress up their dogs and take them out trick or treating with their kids, so seeing dogs out on Halloween would not be unusual. Use caution around dogs that you are unfamiliar with. If you yourself have dogs, be sure they are in a safe place so that when the trick or treaters come to your door they don’t get overly excited and accidentally bite someone. With all the crazy costumes and the constant bustle at the front door, even the most docile dogs can get confused and/or agitated so use caution. It’s best to keep your animals away from the front door if at all possible.
Rules of the Road 101: It’s important to go over some basic rules of the road with your child. Never dart out into the street in between cars as drivers can’t see kids from behind the cars and reacting quickly is often impossible. Cross the streets at intersections only and assume that drivers can’t see you. Wait until crossing the street can be done safely. Make sure your flashlight is on and fully illuminated but don’t shine it directly at those that are driving.
Home safety: It’s important to get your home ready to have trick or treaters come to your door as well. If you are setting Jack-o-Lanterns out in the front of your home, try to avoid using real candles if at all possible. Battery-operated, LED lights that flicker just like candles are a great alternative to light your pumpkins and look just like the real thing without any of the fire danger. Make sure your front entry is well lit and that there is nothing that might be tripped on such as hoses on your front walk.
Group project: Trick or treating is much more fun as well as much safer when done as a group. Get together with some other parent’s from your neighborhood or your kids school and plan to trick or treat en masse. Stick to familiar neighborhoods that you know well and do not trick or treat houses that are not lit. Tell your kids that dark houses means ‘do not enter’. Some communities have shopping malls or retail centers that welcome trick or treaters as another option to going door to door which can be a fun alternative if homes in your area are widely spread out.
All right, troops–there you have it, our top 10 list of safety tips to help make your Halloween safe, sane as well as fun. Get your costumes and treat bags ready, it’s time to rock this Halloween gig! Have fun and be safe!