I have been too old to do any trick or treating for several years now (unfortunately), however, I have many family members and friends who have young children. I love seeing how excited the kids get almost as much as I love how cute they look in their costumes. With all of the excitement that surrounds Halloween, safety tips can be overlooked so I compiled a list of my favorite safety tips. Here it is!
- Plan out a route in advance. Depending on the ages of the children, you should be able to gauge approximately how far they are able to walk before their legs start to get sore and the excitement of eating some of their candy takes over. Also, if you plan and agree on a specific route for everyone to follow, if for some reason you lose one another, you are able to stay on the same route and can even agree on a meeting spot, just in case. You can also agree with surrounding neighbors, “safe neighbors”, you know and trust, that their house may be a meeting point for your children to go to in case of an emergency.
- Stay well-lit and visible. This is a tip that is high up on my safety list. I have continuously seen this costumebeing advertised this year and it always makes me nervous. I understand it’s better for trick or treating in the daylight or for school parties etc but a few children will want to dress like this at night for trick or treating and the thought of that scares me. Make sure to use reflective tape, so drivers can see them- even if the child protests that it ruins the look of the costume. Safety comes first.
- Costumes should… be short, so nothing drags on the road or can get caught. Be sure to do any hemming if needed. Masks should be avoided, since they can make it a bit difficult for the child to breathe and can also limit their vision. Use as much face make-up as possible instead. Wear comfortable shoes and stay warm! It would be so disappointing if their feet start to ache, they begin to get cold and are forced to go home. Plan for the weather! Also, use flexible props. Swords, staffs, wands, should be soft, short and flexible so as to not cause accidental injury to themselves or others. Another idea, is to make a contact tag that can stick on the inside of their clothing, with their full name, and an emergency phone number to reach for the worst case scenarios.
- Remind the children to never… accept rides from strangers, and never enter a house of someone they don’t know or without your permission. This may seem like a very obvious safety rule, but you can never be too careful. The promise of better or more candy, the option of meeting their cute pet that is dressed up for Halloween too… who knows what can be said to get the child inside- it is better to be safe than sorry so remind the children to trust their instincts and to always check in with you before doing anything with someone they don’t know. If they are approached, tell them to go to a safe point/person and tell a “safe adult what happened.
- Candy should always be examined by an adult before being eaten. If it seems like a wrapper has been opened or it’s not in the original wrapping, toss it right away. Do not allow the children the option of eating some candy as they trick or treat unless an adult has inspected it first. Children should also never accept homemade treats unless you have given them the approval first and you trust the person giving the candy.
- Walk on sidewalks as much as possible. If you can’t, walk on the grass- do not walk in the middle of the street. If you are crossing, wait for the proper intersection or safe corner. Do not do the “zig zag” from one side of the street to the other.
- Treat Goody Bag/Container Some of the “fun” bags that are sold in stores are heavy and that’s before even adding any treats to them. Other options are too long and will drag the ground. One of the best options is to have the kids use a backpack (which you can also put reflective tape on), and this way, they will have their hands free except for perhaps a flashlight. It is also a good option if they want to carry water with them so that they stay hydrated.
- Supervision Obviously, young children should not be trick or treating alone, even with friends until the recommended age of 12. If you do have older children, who wish to go trick or treating without adult supervision, remind them to stay in touch and to check in every half hour-hour. For this reason, giving them a cell phone in case of emergency is also advised. There also needs to be a set curfew for when they need to return home with all of their loot. The general recommendation is to not be out past 9 P.M when most of the other trick or treat-ers have gone home.
Have a fun and safe Halloween, everyone!
What are your kids dressing up as?! If you follow and of these tips and want to share how cute your children look in their safe and fun costumes, tag me on Instagram with #joannathemontrealer so I can see how cu-I mean.. scary your ghouls and witches are! Or, as always, find me on Facebook and comment!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN from JLA!