Halloween trick-or-treating is an exciting time for children – and often equally as exciting for the parents, family and friends who accompany the kids.
Although it’s a fun time, it can also be a dangerous time if you’re not careful.
Here are 10 tips for staying safe this Halloween:
- Follow your town’s designated trick-or-treat times – Generally, towns and local government bodies will designate a time period for families to trick-or-treat. While those times may vary, they are usually between 5 and 8 p.m. Besides, the earlier you go, the better the candy!
- Avoid masks if possible – If at all possible, try to complete your child’s costume using face paint instead of a mask. When children wear masks, it sometimes affects their vision. Face paint makes it easier for them to see. It also makes it easier for them to talk to adults and fellow trick-or-treaters. If a mask can’t be avoided, make sure it’s not too loose on the child, and make sure the child can breathe easily and see well out of the mask.
- Be seen – Try to choose brightly colored costumes so your children are easier to spot in the dark. If they do end up wearing a dark-colored costume, sew or glue some reflective strips to the fabric. Also, have the children carry flashlights.
- Never allow a child to trick-or-treat alone – This is very important. Your children should have an adult with them at all times while trick-or-treating. For extra caution, you can have your child wear a bracelet with emergency contact information in case he or she gets separated from the group.
- Follow traffic laws – It’s important for your children to understand fundamental traffic rules, such as stopping and looking both ways before crossing the street using a crosswalk if one is close by. Make sure your children know that they should never assume they have the right of way when crossing the street, especially at night on Halloween.
- Knock on doors of people you know – It’s better if you stick to neighborhoods with which you’re familiar, and that your children know as many of the houses as possible when they’re going door-to-door. Remember, only knock on doors that have their outside lights on.
- Never step inside – It’s rare, but sometimes you’ll find people who invite your children to go inside their houses. That’s a big no-no. Make sure your children know that. If the homeowner insists, teach your children to turn around and walk away.
- Stay on sidewalks in well-lit neighborhoods – Make sure the neighborhoods are well-populated and safe to walk around.
- Stranger danger – No matter how old your kids are, make sure they know never to accept rides or other things besides Halloween candy from strangers.
- Don’t let them eat candy before you check it – You should always inspect your children’s candy before you let them eat it. You never know what unsafe things you might find.