It’s the spookiest time of the year! There are costumes to be worn, pumpkins to be carved, and candy to be collected. Before the trick or treating commences, let’s go over some child safety rules to keep your little ones safe this Halloween season.
1. Eliminate any source of discomfort from your child’s costume. He should be able to breathe, move, and use all five senses without restriction. If contact lenses and makeup are involved, test them out in advance to avoid irritation.
2. Make sure your child has a light; it could be a reflective costume accessory, reflective stickers/tape, a glowstick, or a flashlight. This will not only help him see but also aid you in keeping track of him at night. It is wise to carry a backup just in case something goes wrong (e.g. the flashlight runs out of battery or the tape stops glowing).
3. Plan a trick or treat route ahead of time, sticking to areas that are familiar and easy to navigate at night. The safest option is sidewalks lit by streetlights within the view of other people.
4. Kids should stay a safe distance away from any kind of flame whether it be as small as a candle or as big as a bonfire. As an extra precaution, try to avoid flammable materials when putting together costumes.
5. Pumpkin carving and spooky crafts are a fun part of October, but the use of tools should be supervised. Make sure your children know the importance of asking an adult for help around anything sharp. Injuries are not enjoyable, especially when there are Halloween festivities to be enjoyed.
6. Kids should be accompanied at all times while trick or treating, preferably by their parents. If you cannot be present, hand the responsibility over to an adult you trust completely.
7. If your children are trick or treating without you and have access to a cellphone, stay in contact for updates. Teach them beforehand how to call 911 and other trusted adults in case of an emergency when you cannot be reached.
8. To avoid stranger danger, kids should stay away from houses that are dark, and never accept a stranger’s invitation inside a car or building.
9. Set a curfew. Children should be home at a decent hour to avoid walking around without the company of other groups or the lighting of porches, streetlights, and stores.
10.The first thing your kids will want to do is devour their Halloween candy, but you should always inspect what they’ve gathered before consumption. Ingredients should be checked thoroughly to avoid allergic reactions. Treats that aren’t sealed should be thrown away to avoid potential contamination and illness.
Whether or not a child is old enough to be out alone is a choice to be made by you as the parent. The important thing is taking the time to ensure they know the safety rules, mom and dad’s phone numbers, their address, and emergency contact information. Once all the necessary precautions are taken care of, it is time to enjoy the holiday. Happy Halloween!