Before your little ghosts and goblins set out for a scary night of trick-or-treating, be sure their prepared to be safe as well as scary. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you’re planning their evening:
There’s safety in numbers: If your child’s old enough to go out without an adult, make sure they will be trick-or-treating with several friends that you know. Establish a route they will take and set a curfew for when they need to be home. If your child doesn’t have a cell phone, let them use yours for the evening
Keep it light: If possible, try to create or select a costume in a lighter color which is easier to see in the dark. Place a piece of reflective tape on both the front and back of the costume and also purchase a few glow bracelets or necklaces for your child to wear.
No strings attached: For younger children be sure there are no long strings near the collar of the costume which could pose a strangulation hazard. Also, make sure the costume is not too long which could cause your child to trip (one of the leading causes of accidents at Halloween are falls). Rather than wearing a mask, which might cause limited vision, try non-toxic paint and make-up to create a scary face.
Know the neighborhood: If possible, trick-or-treat in a community where the homes are close together and well lit or, in a city, choose one or two apartment buildings in which you have friends. Remind your child to never enter a house, always stay outside the door!
Save the treats for home! Remind your child to not eat anything that they receive until they return home and it can be checked. Anything that is not in an original wrapper should be thrown out. Be careful that candy is not shared with younger siblings – items with nuts, caramel and raisins as well as hard candy and popcorn are all choking hazards for children under the age of five.
And most importantly, remind your child never to get into a car with someone they don’t know. If someone approaches them, and they feel at all uncomfortable, explain to them that they should go to the nearest lit home and ring the door.
While these tips won’t help prevent the sugar over-load that will inevitably occur, it will help to ensure they arrive home safe and sound.