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Halloween safety tips for parents

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Put Halloween safety first

Halloween is big fun for kids of all ages, but it's important to keep it safe. Use these tips to ensure your child has a safe and happy Halloween.

Costume safety

Keep your little boys and ghouls safe this Halloween with these easy costume safety tips.

1

Get a good fit

Make sure to choose costumes that fit correctly so your little ones won't trip and fall. Long dresses or capes that drag on the floor may be cute, but not if your child ends up falling down. If using a mask, take care to check and see that your child can see and breathe properly. Face painting is a great alternative if you can't find a mask that fits well — just be sure to use washable, non-toxic paint or makeup that is safe for skin.

2

Stay visible

Adorn your children's costumes with reflective tape (available at most hardware stores) to make their costumes visible in the dark. Carry flashlights or glow sticks for more visibility to passing cars.

3

Be flame-resistant

Only choose Halloween costumes that are labeled "flame-resistant" in case of accidental contact with an open flame. If you are concerned about fire dangers at home, use small, safe, flickering light bulbs in your jack-o'-lanterns instead of real candles.

Safe trick-or-treating

The days of kids roaming the streets freely on Halloween are long gone. Make sure that a responsible adult accompanies your children when they are out trick-or-treating and use these tips to keep the night safe and fun.

1

Plan a safe route

Plan your trick-or-treating route ahead of time so that you can check out the neighborhoods to make sure they are safe and well-lit. Only visit homes of people you know or homes with a porch light.

2

Set a curfew

If you are letting older tween or teens trick-or-treat in a group, make sure they are accompanied by an older, responsible teenager that you know and trust. Discuss the route they will follow ahead of time and set a curfew for them to return home.

3

Discuss safety

Make sure to remind your children not to go inside the homes or cars of anyone they meet. Talk about how they always need to stay together as a group and never let a child or pair of children go off on their own.

Halloween alternatives

Trick-or-treating in your neighborhood isn't the only fun Halloween activity! Check your local paper for other safe and exciting Halloween alternatives in your community.

1

Plan a spooktacular party

Spook yourself silly by having a fang-tastic Halloween party in your own home. Carve pumpkins, serve creepy treats and play frighteningly fun Halloween games.

2

Visit a trunk-or-treat

Keep it safe by attending a trunk-or-treat carnival at your church or community center. Even if you feel comfortable among friends, always make sure to keep an eye on your kids at all times.

3

Pick a safe location

Go trick-or-treating at the mall, zoo, museum or other safe location. Many businesses go all out throwing exciting Halloween events for families. Check their websites and discover all the spooky fun available in your city this Halloween.

More on Halloween fun

5 Fun Halloween activities for the whole family
Pumpkin carving templates
Frightfully fun Halloween movies for kids of all ages

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