Parent's Guide to a Safe & Fun Halloween
From costumes to candy, Halloween is jam-packed with fun and treats! As parents, we want our little ones to enjoy trick-or-treating, but we also want them to be safe. Here are some great safety tips that will ensure a happy and safe Halloween:
Trick-or-Treating in Your Neighborhood: Safety Tips
- Plan ahead. Plan your route before heading out. Map out a direct route that has sidewalks or safe pathways to walk and the fewest street crossings.
- Young children should never be out alone without adult supervision, especially during the night. If you can’t go trick-or-treating with your children, make sure they’re going with a group and an adult who can. If you have older children that are mature enough to go out on their own, remember to reinforce safety concerns with them and establish rules before they head out.
- Be careful crossing roads. Remind kids to always cross at corners and look both ways before they cross any street. Tell them to never run out between cars to cross roads, and if they need to cross a larger road with heavier traffic, always cross at a corner where there are traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Lose the distractions. In the world of electronics you can easily be distracted. When you are out tricking-or-treating, put your devices away.
- Stay out of the road. Walk on sidewalks whenever possible and always watch for cars backing out or pulling into driveways.
Costume Safety Tips
- Make sure it fits. If your child is in a costume that is too big or loose on them, they can easily trip or snag on objects or other people. Costumes can also be potentially dangerous around open flames, such as candles, which are very commonly used around Halloween.
- Choose flame-resistant materials. Check the label to make sure that your child’s costume is made out of flame-resistant materials. If you are making your own costume, make sure to use flame-resistant fabrics and materials as well.
- Watch your neck. Avoid accessories that could potentially strangle or injure a child. Make sure jewelry, cords, sashes, capes etc. are not too long or look for these accessories that come with a breakaway safety clasp to avoid your child getting caught on something and potentially choking them.
- Be careful with masks. If your child’s costume has a mask, make sure they only wear it for pictures or when receiving candy at the door. Masks can obstruct your child’s view so they shouldn’t be walking around with them on all the time. Be sure it fits properly and your child can breathe comfortably when it’s on.
- Check your face paint. If you decided to skip the mask and go with face paint instead, you still need to be careful. Choose face paint that is FDA approved, as not all non-toxic products are safe to use on the face.
- Safe accessories. Most Halloween costumes come with fun accessories such as swords, knives, wands, etc. Be sure these items are soft and flexible. Sharp edges may result in injury to another child or your own.
- Be seen in the dark. If you will be out trick-or-treating at night, be safe and tape or sew reflective material onto your child’s costume so they can be seen by cars. You should also consider carrying a flashlight with you while you are out with your kids.
- Proper shoes. Most footwear that come with costumes are not meant for outdoor use, so while out trick-or-treating swap the costume shoes for some more comfortable sneakers.
Halloween Food Safety Tips
- No snacking. Don’t allow your children to snack from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Before you head out, have them eat first so they don’t become hungry and grab from the bag.
- Inspect the treats. Tell your children to not eat any candy before you have inspected it. Throw away any candy that has not been commercially wrapped or looks like it has been tampered with. Some neighbors may like to give out home-baked cookies or treats, but it’s best to throw those away. Because you have no sure way of knowing what ingredients it contains, tell your children to say “no thank you” prior to receiving those types of treats.
- Food allergies. If your child has food allergies you will need to check labels carefully to make sure they are safe for your child to eat. Once again, ditch the homemade goods.
- Choking hazards. If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
We wish you all a very safe and happy Halloween!