When your kids go trick-or-treating, you want them to have fun, but also to be safe. The following tips will focus on safety, from knowing where to go to making sure their costumes won’t become a safety hazard.
Keep the Costumes Short
Kids get excited when they go out trick-or treating, often running down the street and up stairs to get to people’s porches. If your kids have long costumes that reach to their feet, they might trip over them and get seriously injured. You don’t want your kids falling down the stairs or tripping over their costume in the middle of the street.
Costumes with superhero capes, long dresses or gowns might be a little too long. Make sure you have your kids try them on and walk around with the shoes they intend to wear so you know if hemming needs to be done.
Add Reflective Tape to Costumes
Reflective tape attached to your child’s costume, shoes, and/or bags/buckets can greatly increase visibility. I always choose a tape that is waterproof and one that glows for at least 6 hours. You also want a tape that won’t leave residue behind!
Consider Non-Toxic Makeup
Masks can limit or block eyesight since they’re designed for a one-size-fits-all. Consider using non-toxic makeup with decorative hats as an alternative. Even non toxic Halloween makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to avoid bad reactions.
Safe Props & Accessories
When shopping for props and accessories, always check the labels for flame resistant qualities and be sure that they properly fit. If swords, canes, etc. are a part of your child’s costume, make sure they are not sharp nor too long.
Make Trick-or-Treating a Family Event
While teenagers can usually go out on their own, you should not send your younger kids alone trick-or-treating. Even when they are in your own neighborhood, it will take a lot of stress off your mind if you walk around with them. This can become a fun annual tradition where you send them around the neighborhood to get their candy, then when they return, you can make a big meal full of delicious fall-themed foods and sit down for some fall crafts or to watch scary movies.
Be Safe While Walking
When you head out on your trick-or-treating adventure, practice caution even when you are out with your kids. Remove their masks on occasion so they can breathe, as some of them are very constricting. Be careful not to walk down the street, even if you see other families walking down the street. Stick to the sidewalks or the bike lanes if the sidewalks are full. Be wary of any houses that have loud, barking dogs. Avoid houses that are not well lit out front and never accept an invitation to go inside.
Keep Your Own Home Safe
You also want your own home to be safe for trick-or-treaters even if you will be at home handing out candy. Make sure your front yard is well lit not just with the porch light, but by placing battery-operated lights in your pumpkins and having other lights outside turned on. If it rained recently, put out rugs so kids don’t sleep on the steps. Sweep away any leaves for the same purpose. Keep your dogs inside and restrained just in case.
Pumpkin Carving Safety
When carving pumpkins, it’s better to let kids draw or paint designs on them. Always carve away from younger kids. Consider using a mini flashlight or glow sticks rather than candles. Tea light candles are the safest option if you prefer candles.
To keep your child from being tempted to eat their candy haul, fill their tummies up with good food! Also enforce that all treats must be examined for any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.
Food Allergy Awareness
As the mom of a son who has food allergies, it was always a priority to make sure he didn’t indulge on any candy prior to check it out. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening. Always read the ingredient labels on candy and treats. Many popular brands contain some of the most common allergens, such as peanuts or tree nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat.
Teach your child to politely turn down home-baked items such as cupcakes and brownies, and never to taste or share another child’s food.