There’s nothing more exciting for kids than trick-or-treating. Many enjoy the thrill of walking door to door with friends without Mom or Dad peeking around their shoulder. Before you send your little ones on their candy-compiling ways, be sure to share a few of these safety tips.
Light up the night
With all the people and cars that can be out on Halloween night, it’s important your kids are visible even when it’s dark out. Consider placing glow-in-the-dark necklaces around their necks or attaching a few pieces of reflective tape to their costumes so they can be easily seen by vehicles and other trick-or-treaters. And to make sure they themselves can see in some of the darker areas, encourage them to carry a flashlight with some extra batteries, just to be on the safe side.
Knock on the door, but don’t go inside
While it’s all part of the fun for kids to approach a person’s home on Halloween and wait outside for their obligatory treat of candy, remind your little ones it’s never OK to step inside someone’s home.
Candy shouldn’t be eaten immediately
Though rare, there are always a couple of stories every year of people tampering with the candy they give to kids. So it’s important your little ghouls and goblins know they have to wait until they get home so you can take a look at the goods they’ve collected before letting them dig in.
Careful in the streets
Because trick-or-treating happens at night — after the sun sets — reinforce the importance of safe street-crossing. They may roll their eyes at you, but it’s important to remind them to look both ways before crossing the street and to use a crosswalk or intersection to do so.
Pick a preplanned route
It’s always best to have a rough idea of where your kids will be throughout the night. So sit down with them and plan out a safe route throughout the neighbourhood that you can all feel good about.
Halloween can be a confusing time for kids in terms of “stranger danger,” because they’re approaching doorways to say “trick or treat.” So remind kids that it’s OK to have quick interactions at the doors, but they should never accept an invitation to go inside, and they also shouldn’t go anywhere with someone who approaches them on the street. Make sure they know that if such a thing happens, they should disengage from that person and return home or to a friend’s house immediately.
Kids are usually hyper-excited about trick-or-treating, but remind them their safety comes first. Tell them to walk rather than run and to respect those around them. So pushing, shoving or yelling to get the best candies is not allowed.
Sidewalks are a must
It’s natural for kids to get so excited about the next batch of loot that they want to forgo the sidewalk and cut straight across the lawn or garden. Unfortunately not only could doing so cause them to trip in the dark and hurt themselves, it could also anger and upset your neighbours. So make sure your children know the only fair and safe thing to do is to stick to sidewalks and driveways.
Give them a means of communication
Although you want your little ones to enjoy their night of independence, you also want them to be able to get in contact with you if anything goes wrong. If they get hurt, lost or stray too far from home, being able to call you is a huge asset. So before they head out, tuck your cell phone into one of your children’s secure costume pockets, and encourage them to call if they ever feel the need.
They always have you
A child can get really excited about setting out on his or her own independent Halloween with friends. But remind them that if they ever feel unsafe, you’ll be more than happy to finish the night off with them — at a distance, of course, so they can keep their cool!