Halloween was, and still is, my favorite holiday behind Christmas. I love watching people dress up in silly costumes, and I especially love having an excuse for eating 150 mini chocolate bars in a day.
But I think we sometimes forget that Halloween is supposed to be fun for kids, and it's important that they have a safe night. Even if you don't have kids going out on Halloween, there are things you can do to help make sure everyone stays safe for the evening.
1. Use Reflective Tape
This is for parents, kids, and homeowners! Reflective tape is a great way to make sure you everyone who needs to be seen is seen. The tape will help drivers identify kids, will help parents keep track of their kids, and homeowners can add it to their decorations to help kids walk up and down driveways safely.
Reflective tape is a great way to add safety and brightness to your Halloween costumes and decorations.
2. Avoid Masks
Masks can make it hard for kids to see where they're walking, which can lead to more incidents and injuries. Plus, with so many people choosing the same masks, it ca be harder to identify who is who.
For example, you may be trick or treating with your child while in an Iron Man mask. When your kid sees the mask, they'll think it's you right away when in reality, it's a neighbor from down the street. Kids walking away with strangers is a recipe for disaster.
3. Travel In Groups
If you're sending your kids out with friends, remind them to stay in groups. It can be tempting for kids to go off on their own, but keeping with their friends is always the safest way to go.
Even if you're going out with your kids, a group can be more fun and safe. It's easier for drivers to spot a group of people, and having more adults to keep an eye out on kids is always great.
4. Drive Slowly (Or Not At All)
If you have errands to run, try and do them on a night other than Halloween. If you do have to go out, drive slowly and carefully through neighborhoods you know are hot spots for trick or treaters.
Stock up on candy the night before so you aren't rushing out after dinner to get some while kids are on the streets.
5. Choose Peanut-Free Candy
Although admittedly it's hard to cater to everyone's allergies and intolerances, peanut allergies are one of the most common and the easiest to work around. Many companies sell peanut-free candy, with wrappers that clearly state they are safe to eat.
By handing out peanut-free candy, you're helping keep kids with allergies safe, and making it easier on parents who would otherwise have to read every label.
6. Use Properly-Fitted Costumes
Yes, princess dresses and vampire capes are great, but make sure they fit properly. Long garments that are too loose on the bottom can be a tripping hazard.
The same goes for shoes. Make sure every aspect of your child's costume fits properly so that they can run around with their friends without worrying about falling and injuring themselves.
7. Avoid Cheap Eye Makeup
It's tempting to buy the cheapest makeup set the store has to offer, but it can be dangerous. Places like the dollar store don't always have the highest standards, so purchasing makeup that will go on your child's face, and more importantly near their eyes, can be risky.
Be willing to spend those extra few dollars to get safe and reliable makeup, or at least avoid putting less expensive makeup near your child's eyes.
8. Turn On Lights
Many people like to keep their lights dim or off on Halloween to set the scene of spookiness, but the dim lighting can be dangerous. Kids aren't able to see where they are walking, cars can't see the kids as the walk on the streets, and parents have trouble keeping an eye on their little ones.
If you don't want to have kids ringing your doorbell on Halloween, instead of keeping the lights off, keep the lights on and leave a bowl of candy on the porch or a note on the door saying you are not handing out candy.
9. Make A Clear Path
Avoid decorations that obstruct your walkway or driveway. Kids aren't always looking when they run from door to door, so making sure they have a clear path is considerate. Things you may not consider to be hazards, like wet leaves on the driveway, can be a safety risk.
10. Wait To Snack
Kids love digging into their candy right away, and it's hard to blame them, but making sure all snacking waits until you're at home is crucial. Though it's sad to say, tampered candy is a real risk. Waiting to get home and sort through candy is the best way to make sure kids aren't ingesting anything questionable.
11. Don't Criss-Cross
It sounds lame, but have a plan when trick or treating. Go up one side of the street and down the other. When you let the kids criss-cross back and forth across the street, it increases their chances of tripping or being hit by a car. The less you cross the street, the better. If you do have to cross, make sure it's at a well-lit part of the street.
12. Stay Outside
It can be enticing to go in to someone's home if there are elaborate decorations, but always remind your kids to stay at the door. Remember, Halloween is fun, but it does rely on faith in strangers. It's your responsibility to teach your kids about stranger danger and how to stay safe.
13. Avoid Candles
Tea candles in pumpkins are classic, but they can be a hazard. The more candles on the porch, the more likely it is that a costume with catch fire or a jack-o-lantern will get accidentally kicked off the porch on to some dry leaves.
Instead, try using the battery-operated tea candles for your decorations this year. They won't be a fire hazard, and you can also reuse them after Halloween.
14. Stay In Known Neighborhoods
The first year you send your kids out without parental supervision can be stressful, but restricting them to your neighborhood is the best way to keep them safe. Familiar territory means there's less of a chance they'll get lost, plus your kids will likely know the faces on the street.
Though other neighborhoods may be enticing due to bigger houses, better decorations, etc., only allow your kids to go to these neighborhoods if they are with a trusted adult.
15. Use Flashlights
Another point that seems like common sense, but a flashlight is an easy and effective way to stay safe on Halloween. You can get head lamps that don't require your hands, or you can somehow incorporate the light into yours or your child's costume.
Flashlights make it easier to see your path, and easier for potential cars to spot you.
16. Dress Appropriately
No, this isn't referencing how much skin you're showing, but rather how warm you are. Halloween can often be a cool night, and without a proper sweater or jacket, you can get very cold. Not only does this affect your mood, but it can also lead to illnesses.
Being too cold on Halloween can also lead to kids rushing around to stay warm and get done quickly, which is, once again, a tripping hazard.
17. Keep A Card With Contact Information
If your child doesn't have a cellphone, then you might get anxious sending them out on Halloween by themselves or with their friends. What if they get lost or something happens to them? There is an easy way to combat this.
Putting your important contact information on a card to send out with your kid is a great idea. This card could include info like:
- Your name
- Your child's name
- Your contact number
- Your home address
- Any allergies your child has
In the event of an emergency, someone will be able to contact you.
18. Remind Your Kids Of Stranger Danger
This has been touched on throughout the tips, but making your kids aware of stranger danger is one of the best ways to keep them same this Halloween. Remind them that just because someone seems friendly doesn't mean they will be, and that going in to any car or house with someone you don't know is not okay.