How to Keep Your Kids Safe for Trick or Treating


Authored by Cathy L. Chambers in Holidays 
Published on 09-28-2009

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many kids and grownups. The excitement of dressing up in costume and going door to door for treats is fun for everyone. Children often get so excited over the prospect of Halloween that they forget to observe safety rules. Parents need to step in to ensure that their children as well as any little goblins that come to visit have a safe and fun Halloween.

The choice of Halloween costume should be the first consideration in staying safe. Costumes should be made of flame retardant material and fit well. Make certain that the bottom edge of the costume clears the ground to prevent tripping. Masks can obscure vision, make sure that eyeholes are large enough for the child can see properly. As an alternative, use face paint in place of a mask. Props like swords, scythes or other objects should have blunted tips and should be flexible to prevent the child from becoming injured if they fall. Adding a reflective tape to the costume can ensure children are visible to drivers. Let children carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase their visibility and to light their path.

Even in the best neighborhoods, young children should not be allowed to trick or treat without an adult. Older children should trick or treat with a group of friends and should have a planned route they will take through the neighborhood. Make certain that their route will take them through well lit and well traveled areas. Under no circumstances should they cut through alleys or parking lots. Children should only trick or treat at homes of neighbors they know and avoid homes with unlit porches. Children should be reminded not to enter a stranger’s home for any reason.

Basic safety rules like looking both ways before crossing the street, crossing only at lights and not speaking with strangers can help your child stay safe on Halloween. Remind them not to accept rides from anyone, even someone they know, without your knowledge.

To keep your child from diving into the candy before you get a chance to check it, feed them a “special” Halloween dinner before they go out for the night. Check all candy before you allow your child to eat it. Some hospitals will x-ray treat bags but it is still a good idea to make a visual inspection of the candy. Tell your children before hand that they should not accept homemade treats or treats that are not prepackaged. Throw away any candy that has a torn wrapper or if you detect signs of tampering. Wash and cut before allowing your child to eat fruit of any kind. Make certain any small items that might be a choking hazard are taken from young children. This includes nuts, small toys and gum.

Halloween is mean a fun holiday for children. Taking extra steps to ensure their safety can make certain that your children have a happy and safe Halloween.


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