Halloween Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating
Halloween is a fun time for kids of all ages. It’s the one night we can dress up like silly characters and indulge in scary fantasies and eat buckets full of candy. However, being safe while trick-or-treating, means you also need to know the dangers and how to avoid them.
When carving pumpkins with little ones, use safe, plastic tools that were meant for little hands and safety. Let grown-ups use the big knife to carve out the top. Don’t use real candles; instead try the LED fake candles to light up your pumpkin masterpieces. Let young children decorate with markers and glitter and help scoop out the pumpkin guts.
Costumes can be great fun but make sure they are also safe. Avoid masks if you can; face paint is a great alternative. Masks can make it hard for kids to see and breathe. Choose costumes with bright colors and fabrics that are flame retardant. Don’t let your kids wear ill-fitting costumes or high-heeled shoes. You don’t want to end up in the ER due to a broken ankle on Halloween night.
Check your child’s costume for tight necklines to prevent strangulation and fabric that hangs down, so they don’t trip or fall. If possible avoid accessorizing your kid’s costume with pointy objects that someone can get hurt on. If the outfit needs a knife or sword, be sure it’s made of soft rubber or plastic. Make sure your child’s costume can accommodate a coat if it is cold during trick-or-treat hours. Have your child wear sneakers or other comfortable shoes for walking around. Don’t forget the reflective stickers for nighttime safety.
Always be sure your kids trick-or-treat with an adult until they are twelve years old. For older kids insist that they stay in a group. Have them carry flashlights to light the way, watch out for traffic and walk don’t run. Always set the ground rules and have a clear curfew and even check-ins via text during the night, so you know they are ok. Advise your children to only visit “known” homes in the area, well-lit properties and not to interact with adults they don’t know.
With little ones, pin a note to their costume with their name, address and phone number in case they get lost in all the bustle.
Instruct your kids to observe all road rules; walk on sidewalks, use crossing signals, look both ways before crossing the street, and watching out for cars that might not see them. Plan out your trick-or-treating route to cover all the houses in the neighborhood that you know are safe. Avoid any that you don’t know.
Never let kids eat any Halloween candy until you have inspected it thoroughly. Local fire and emergency personnel often set up x-ray machines on Halloween to examine candy before little ones eat it. Some towns have mobile units that drive around ensuring the safety of kids on Halloween night. Only let your children eat pre-packaged candy you are familiar with. Be aware of allergies and stay away from home-baked goods. Feed kids a full meal before they head out, so they won’t be tempted to “snack” while trick-or-treating.
Throw out any candy that looks tampered with or opened. With small children remove hard candy and other choking hazards.
Don’t let your kids overeat a bunch of candy in one night. Ration it for them and hide their stash until morning so you can dole out the right amount. Too much sugar can result in tummy aches or worse.
If you are an adult handing out candy, be sure your walkway is clear and clean of debris and well lit. Buy pre-packaged candy to hand out and be aware of children with allergies. Lock pets in a safe room so they don’t get out while you are handing out treats.
If you are out driving on Halloween, drive extra slow and watch out for kids who are running and not observing road rules.