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When your kids go trick-or-treating, you want them to have fun, but also to be safe. The following post will focus on a range of safety tips. The goal is to keep your excited trick-or-treaters out of danger and to allow both you and your kids to have a great time.
Costume Length Matters
Kids get excited when they go out trick-or-treating, often running down the street and up the stairs to get to people’s porches. You don’t want your kids falling down the stairs or tripping over their costumes in the middle of the street. Costumes with superhero capes, long dresses, or gowns could be a little too long.
Make sure you have your kids try them on and walk around with the shoes they intend to wear so you know if the costume needs to be hemmed.
Travel in Packs when Trick-or-Treating
While teenagers can usually go out on their own, it may be safer to have older kids head out in groups and stay together as they make their spooky sojourn through the neighborhood.
You shouldn’t send your younger kids out alone to trick-or-treat. Little ones should have a parent overseeing each group. If you can get two parents per group, even better. Station one grownup at the head, and the other at the rear. This way, no kids can accidentally wander off or get lost.
Be Safe While Walking
When you head out on your trick-or-treating adventure, practice caution even when you are out with your kids.
- Remove their masks on occasion so they can breathe, as some of them can be very constricting.
- Be careful not to walk in the street (if possible), even if you see other families walking in the street.
- Stick to the sidewalks or the bike lanes if the sidewalks are full.
- Be wary of any houses that have loud, barking dogs.
- Avoid houses that are not well lit out front and never accept an invitation to go inside.
Don’t forget flashlights. You can buy some fun, Halloween themed flashlights for them (and you!) to carry to illuminate your way.
Home Safe Home
You also want your own home to be safe for trick-or-treaters even if you’ll be at home handing out candy. Make sure your front yard is well lit not just with the porch light, but with battery-operated lights in your pumpkins and other household lights outside turned on. If it’s wet outside, put out rugs (make sure they are nonslip) so kids don’t slip on the steps. Sweep away any leaves for the same purpose.
Pro-tip: Keep your dogs inside and restrained just in case.
Stay Away from Unfamiliar Cars
Obviously, if a stranger in a car pulls up, steer clear. Make sure kids know that stranger danger is still a thing, even on Halloween. The one exception might be the town police or local firefighters, who sometimes make their rounds handing out candy on this festive day.
Stay Outside of Houses
If someone unfamiliar invites trick or treaters to come inside and accept their Halloween treats, kids should politely decline. However, this doesn’t have to be awkward. Instruct them to say, “no thank you,” or “I’m not allowed,” and quickly be on their way.
Candy Cautions during Trick-or-Treating
While heading out to haunt the neighbors wearing scary and silly costumes holds huge appeal on Halloween, 9 out of 10 kids (and parents) would probably name candy-eating as their very favorite part. Before your little superheroes and goblins tear into those treat bags, keep these Halloween candy safety tips in mind.
No Eating While Trick-or-Treating
Kids shouldn’t dip into their candy stash while trick or treating. Even though the candy is whispering to them, they have to wait until they get home. Instead, Mom or Dad will inspect the contents before giving candy consumption the go-ahead.
Homemade Treats? Probably Not
Dealing with homemade treats can be a challenge. It’s easy to understand that you don’t accept unwrapped or homemade treats from people you don’t know well.
However, what to do with those tasty looking homemade cookies that find their way into the Halloween pumpkin from your next-door neighbor? They might be okay. However, Mom and Dad will need to check those treats as well. One important factor is that you don’t know what’s in the cookies or other treats. It doesn’t have to be anything intentionally bad, but if you can’t identify all of the ingredients or how they were cooked, err on the side of caution and toss them.
Unfortunately for the treat-or-treaters, unwrapped treats from strangers will have to be thrown away. My parents tossed everything that was homemade and not in a manufactured wrapper — no matter how well we knew the person.
Signs of Candy Tampering
When you get your kids home with their bags of candy, look at everything and perform a thorough inspection before permitting them to dig into their stash. If you see any of the following, toss it:
- Unwrapped candies or other snacks
- Candies with a missing or torn-open wrapper
- Anything unusual about the candy, such as a wrapper that appears to have been re-glued, or any oddly shaped candies
The above irregularities may indeed be the result of a manufacturing or packaging error. Even so, best stick to safe snacking… especially on Halloween.
Following these Trick-or-Treating Tips can help you and your kids have a safe and fun Halloween.
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