Halloween, one of the darkest and busiest nights of the year, can also be the most dangerous night for kids out trick or treating. If you plan on joining in on the festivities this year, we’ve put together the following tips (for both parents and kids) that should keep everyone safe while having a good time.
- Stay visibleIf possible, have your child wear a light colored costume. If the costume is dark in color, apply reflective tape to your child’s costume to ensure they are seen by drivers on the road. Also, carry a flashlight or some other battery powered type of light, with you to keep your child’s path lit at all times. For older kids trick or treating on their own, you can download a flashlight app on their phone.
- Enforce a buddy systemWe don’t recommend children younger than 12 going out on their own, but if your child is older than 12, you should ensure they’re accompanied by friends and that they know all emergency numbers in the event of any situation. If you have a teenager accompanying younger children, never let them get out of eyesight or go wandering from the group.
- Avoid Masks and Long CostumesNo doubt, masks look cool, but they’re not the safest thing for your child on Halloween night. Many masks can make it difficult for your child to see or breathe. If possible, skip the mask altogether and use non-toxic make-up to complete the costume instead. You should also skip long costumes that drag on the floor as these are at risk of tripping your child or getting snagged somewhere. If your child’s costume is long, hem it up to a reasonable length.
- Check Your Child’s CandyYou can never be too safe when it comes to your kids on Halloween. Remind your child not to eat any of their candy until they get home and you’ve had a chance to sort through their stash. When sorting through candy at the end of the night, be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened.
- Plan a routeThere are some apps that allow you to see which homes in the neighborhood have confirmed that they will be giving out candy, such as the Nextdoor Treat Map. You can download one of these apps to help you confirm which houses you should visit. You can also determine which houses to avoid by visiting the National Sex Offender Public Website and mapping out which houses have registered sex offenders. If you’re not accompanying your child, you should try to take them around the neighborhood before Halloween and point out which houses they should avoid.
- Track Your Child’s LocationIf your child is going in a group accompanied by another adult, or your child is a bit older and is going trick or treating with a group of friends, you can use a smartphone to keep track of their location. If your kids have iPhones, use Find My iPhone to track their location throughout the night. Android devices can be tracked using Find My Device, which is very similar to Find My iPhone. If your child doesn’t have a phone of their own, you can have them borrow someone else’s phone for the night.
Halloween is a great opportunity for you to spend time with your kids on one of the most exciting days of the year. Feel free to share these tips with fellow parents. Stay safe and have a happy Halloween!