5 Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating with Young Children
When Halloween night comes around, there is no doubt that your little ones are just itching to get out there in full costume to tromp from house to house for candy. However, with all of the chaos of little ghosts and vampires and witches running about, homes distractingly decorated to look like haunted houses, and your own children wanting to go down every street in the neighborhood as to not miss a single candy opportunity, trick-or-treating can be overwhelming and safety can quickly become an issue. Luckily, with just a few tips, you can make sure that the Halloween festivities are both fun and safe for you and your children.
1. Bring along a flashlight and put some glow bands or reflective tape on your children’s costumes. Though your street may have streetlights, it still can be difficult to see others in the darkness of the popular trick-or-treating hours. Bringing along a flashlight can help you to avoid stumbling as well as make others aware of your presence. The glow bands and reflective tape on your children’s costumes can also help other pedestrians and drivers see your children in the dark, which will prevent any accidental and possibly detrimental bumps and collisions. This is especially important if your children’s costumes are particularly dark because they could be nearly invisible in the shadows.
2. Plan your route beforehand and avoid any unfamiliar or unpopulated streets. Before Halloween, scout out the streets that you want to explore with your children. Try to stick to the places that you know will be popular, as well as places that you are fairly familiar with. After all, you do not want to end up lost on Halloween night when you have your children in tow. To find homes that you know will provide treats, look for streets that have the most Halloween decorations out. Typically, those who go through the trouble of decorating for Halloween will also be home to pass out treats to trick-or-treaters as well. This way, you also will not have to walk too many streets on Halloween night in order to fill your children’s Halloween baskets.
3. Go with a relatively small group. Group trick-or-treating can be more fun for children because they can spend Halloween with their friends. However, be sure that the group size stays small, with about six to eight individuals. Also be sure that there is at least one responsible adult or older child to look after every three to four children. You do not want to have to handle a group of children by yourself, so reinforcement is always a good idea, especially on a chaotic night like Halloween.
4. Remind your children about general safety rules before you leave the house. Halloween can be an exciting time for children, and they may temporarily forget general safety rules about how to behave towards strangers and how to cross the street. This is why it is important to remind children of these rules before you leave the house. Emphasize how important it is to stick together, to be polite but never go into a stranger’s home or car, and to only cross the street when you say that it is okay. Remember that there will still be cars around on Halloween night, so street safety refreshers are essential.
5. Check your candy haul before anyone eats any. It is an unfortunate reality that some people may wish to harm children by slipping undesired materials into Halloween candy. For this reason, it is imperative that you check your children’s candy haul before they dig into it. Have them help you look for opened wrappers, torn wrappers, or any other suspicious-looking candy. Avoid unwrapped treats altogether. It can be a good idea to have an extra stash of candy put aside to replace the ones that must be thrown out so that your children will not object to tossing out undesired candies.
By following these basic trick-or-treating safety tips, you and your children can enjoy a fun-filled and safe Halloween night.
Check out Expecting Mom Parenting Blog’s friends at Halloween Crazy for all your Halloween needs, from costumes to decorations and much more.
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