When you’re sending your children out on Halloween, ensuring their safety is obviously your first priority even while wanting to make sure they have a great time. While it’s a night of fun and excitement for your kids, there are a few standard things that you, as a parent, can do to make sure things go well.
For example, since kids go out trick-or-treating at night, you obviously need to make sure drivers can see them when the kids are crossing the street. Fortunately, this is easily done.
First of all, make sure each child carries a flashlight, glow stick, or battery lighted jack o’ lantern. That’s absolutely essential.
In addition, you might want to sew or stick on some reflectors as part of their costumes or make sure they’re wearing shoes with reflective tape.
Another thing you can do is to make sure the costume fits your child! You don’t want your little one tripping and falling. Nothing can spoil a happy Halloween more quickly for a little kid than dropping their candy and skinning their knee. Properly fitting costumes can help avoid those unhappy tears.
Of course, there is something else to consider when talking about a properly fitting Halloween costume. It can get very cold on October 31st !!! So make sure there’s enough room for your child to wear warm clothing underneath the costume without choosing an outfit so large that your child “swims” in it. And, if worse comes to worse, insist that your child wear a coat or jacket over their costume while walking from door to door, only taking it off when it’s time to say “trick or treat!”
Speaking of costumes, many safety experts recommend that makeup and face paint are better than wearing masks which can restrict your children’s ability to see obstacles…such as that black cat crossing in front of them!
If you do agree to let your child wear a mask, make sure it’s one that allows your son or daughter to see easily. Many masks are made that way nowadays for safety reasons, so it won’t be hard to do.
By the way, it goes without saying that costume swords, knives and similar accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.
And, of course, if your children are young, make sure you go along with them. For the very young ones, go up to the door with them and just stand aside when you get there so they have the fun of shouting “trick or treat!” and showing off their costumes. Slightly older kids can go up to the door by themselves with you standing down the sidewalk. Your concern is not who answers the door…it’s just making sure that small children have an adult accompanying them as they walk around the neighborhood.
Interestingly, one Halloween safety “tip” that gets heavily emphasized every year in the newspapers and on TV actually isn’t valuable…and actually distracts some parents from focusing on genuine safety issues.
What is it? Each year, when Halloween comes around, TV and news reporters warn parents to check their children’s treats before allowing them to eat them because of the concern that those treats could be poisoned or have pins or razors in them…”because it’s happened so many times before.”
But that’s just not true.
Numerous studies over the past 30+ years have shown that not one single child has ever been poisoned by anyone giving out Halloween treats! Not one single child!!!
And claims of finding foreign bodies in a treat? With one exception over the past 40 years (and no one was injured in that case), these claims have all been pranks and hoaxes…mostly pranks by older kids because they heard about such pranks on the news and decided to pull a prank themselves!!
Now…does this mean you shouldn’t check your kids’ goodie bags? Of course not. You definitely do want to make sure your kids don’t eat all their candy at once and get stomachaches, so it’s good to divide up the bag into daily portions. (Plus you get to eat a few of those tasty treats yourself
And, of course, if you find something that makes you uncomfortable, no matter how innocent it actually is, you can throw it away.
But safety issues on the street and with costumes should be your focus. Take care of those, and you will have peace of mind on Halloween…while your kids will have a GREAT Halloween!!