With Halloween next week, everyone's getting their costumes and candy and planning out their night, but it's important to remember that especially for the littlest super heroes and ghosts and princesses, there are precautions to take to make Halloween safe and fun for everyone involved.
There are lots of things to consider from costumes to candy, but here are the top 10 trick or treat safety tips:
Before You Leave
1. Make sure costumes all fit properly. An ill-fitting costume can drag on the ground and lead to tripping, so keep some safety pins on hand and if the costume is too loose or too long in some areas, do a quick adjustment.
2. Attach reflective tape or stickers. It can be very hard for drivers to see darkly-clothed kiddos once the sun goes down, so take a few minutes to attach reflective tape to costumes and buckets or bags to make your crew more visible.
3. Try to avoid masks. Masks are fun, but for trick-or-treaters they can severely limit the ability to see, leading to all sorts of potential hazards. If you can, go for face paint instead!
Once You're Out
4. Don't text and walk. The temptation to use your phone while you're walking between houses can be strong, but resist. Keep your eyes on the road and the kids just in case the drivers around you aren't quite so careful.
5. Stay with your child. It seems like something that wouldn't need to be said, but kids will often sprint ahead of their parents when they're excited, so keep an extra eye on your kiddos and make sure they stay close.
6. Carry a flashlight. There are actually two good reasons to carry flashlights. One, of course, is to see where you're going (okay, duh, that's obvious!), but the other is so that drivers and other trick-or-treaters can see you. You'll be much more visible with a flashlight than walking in the dark.
7. Cross the street at corners and crosswalks. When everyone's kind of drifting around during trick-or-treating, it can seem like no big deal to just cross anywhere, but drivers are still navigating the streets. Make it easier for everyone by sticking to the rules.
8. Only approach houses with porch lights turned on. Most homeowners who are willing to have trick-or-treaters know to turn their porch lights on. Not only is it impolite to approach homes with the lights off, it's an unnecessary risk.
9. Don't go inside anyone's home. It might sound obvious, but when your child is standing at someone's door and they say, "hang on a sec, why don't you step inside while I get more candy," they're likely well-meaning, but it's just not worth the risk.
After You're Home
10. Inspect the candy. It may be a little archaic, but in the better safe than sorry category, inspecting the treats your child brings home isn't a bad idea--look for evidence of tampering or anything that doesn't belong.
Trick-or-treating is such a big part of the Halloween experience--if you don't have your own trick-or-treaters this year, pass this on to someone who does and have a safe, fun Halloween!