With trick or treat season just around the corner, children across the country are already hopping excited about their costumes, decking up their homes with Jack-o- lanterns and of course all those candies.
In fact, for most kids, Halloween measures up to Christmas morning in terms of fun quotient. But for parents trick or treating trips can quickly turn into a cause of worry. So, here are some tips for a safe Halloween.
Age and numbers are everything!
Indeed, there is safety in numbers but this only applies to kids who are 7 years and older. For any child who is younger, it is best to have an adult even when a bunch of children are going trick or treating together.
Also, before sending the kids out, scour the area to find any dark spots and risky areas that should be avoided. Finally, set a time limit on the trick or treating adventure and keep in touch with the parents of the other kids in the group.
Scare while being safe!
Make sure the costume, including wigs and wearable props, is made from flame-resistant material. Shoes should be comfortable and fit well. Do not let your child wear heels and if props are used, make sure they are made of foam and not hard material like plastic which can increase the risk injury.
It is safest to choose bright colored costumes and add some reflective tape to it which will increase visibility. Masks can obstruct vision and breathing, so it is better to go with face makeup and never use cosmetic lenses.
Road rules do apply on Halloween as well!
It is not every day that kids get to go around the neighborhood in scary costumes collecting treats, so it is totally understandable if they cannot contain their excitement and forget all about road safety rules. A little reminder will go a long way, so discuss this several times with your kids before letting them go out on their own.
- Finish going through the homes on one side of the street first and then move to the opposite side; this way they do not have to crisscross the road too many times.
- Kids should only use pedestrian crossings and move across the street in groups.
- Make sure your child understands the risk of just running from one side of the road to the other, without watching out for vehicles.
- Warn your child against approaching animals they do not know and going to dimly lit houses.
Make your home safe for the little ghosts and ghouls!
Shovel the snow and remove fixtures like pots and statues that may cause tripping. Also, use LED candles inside jack-o’-lanterns instead of regular candles that pose a fire hazard. If you have pets, no matter how friendly, keep them away from the front door and ensure the stairway/pathway that leads up to your door is well lit. Don’t just restrict yourself to giving candies, little games, puzzles, coloring pens and pencils will also be appreciated and will create less of a health problem later.
Have an emergency plan ready!
Allow your child to carry a mobile phone if he/she is old enough to use it. Also, conceal contact information in the costume or make an ID card that can be used in case of an emergency. Keep in touch with your child while he/she is out and fix a pickup point that the child should go to, if he/she is lost. Using a tracker app will also help.
Oh, all those candies!
Once your child is back with his share of the treat or treating bounty, sort through the candies, only keeping those that are properly wrapped and factory sealed. If your child suffers from food allergies, only allow popular commercial varieties, so that you can be sure about the ingredients. Finally, remember to ration the treats after Halloween.