It’s that time of year where excited kids are planning their costumes and gearing up for a fun night of trick or treating. What child, or adult for that matter, can resist filling up their bags with all those yummy treats? As always though, safety precautions need to be taken to keep your little goblins and ghosts safe. Here are some tips for keeping trick or treating safe:
- Parents should accompany their children when possible.
- Children who are younger than 12 years old should not be allowed to go trick or treating by themselves.
- If older children go without parent supervision, they should go with at least two other children. They should have a planned route and a time to be home.
- Discuss safety prior to your children leaving. Remember the “never talk to strangers” rule. Also, tell your children to never enter someone’s home.
- Make sure store-bought costumes and accessories — such as wigs, hats and masks — are flame-retardant. The label should clearly state that. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it.
- Wear bright colors – both parents and kids should wear brightly-colored clothing. If you are wearing a costume that is dark in color, apply reflective tape to parts of your clothes or shoes.
- Be sure your child can see – smaller children love store-bought costumes that come complete with a facemask. Double-check that your child can see through the eyeholes of the mask to prevent tripping, falling or running into something. Face painting is preferred to masks. If using make-up or paint, test on a small area of the skin in advance to ensure your child is not allergic. Remove before bedtime to prevent skin irritation.
- Visit familiar places only - take your children to trick-or-treat at places where you know people.
- Inspect all candy – this is a commonly known rule of trick-or-treating, and yet so many parents don’t follow it. Parents should remove all unwrapped candy from buckets (cupcakes, homemade candy, etc.). Children should not eat homemade treats made by strangers. Check all candy for signs of tampering or choking hazards.
- Obey the rules - remember to follow traffic safety rules. Always look both ways before crossing the street. Stay on the sidewalks and walk at a normal pace. Also, be sure to check for any curfew rules that apply to your area.
There is one more safety measure you can take. I realize this is a very personal choice, but if you are comfortable with this, you can place a GPS tracking device on your child (hidden somewhere in their costume). It would be an added measure of safety that may bring you more peace of mind.
I hope you and your family have a fun and safe time trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween!