It’s the spookiest time of the year – Halloween! With pumpkin carving, costumes and candy, Halloween can be a fun-filled holiday for kids. But with the exception of ghosts, haunted houses and ghouls, Halloween (especially trick-or-treating) shouldn’t be scary for kids or parents. Alertness and awareness are key for staying safe and having fun when trick-or-treating. Here are some Halloween safety tips to make sure you and your kids have a spook-tacular time.
Preparing for Halloween
Costumes are a huge part of Halloween fun! When buying or making a costume, it’s important to make sure it fits your child properly so they won’t trip on pants, dresses or capes that are too long. Choosing face paint and makeup instead of wearing masks can also prevent trips, as masks can obstruct children’s vision. In Minnesota, we know it’s important to prepare for a chilly evening! Make sure your child’s costume can be worn with warm clothing underneath or over to avoid the chill. Also consider adding reflective tape or eye-catching stickers to costumes and candy bags for an added layer of visibility and safety.
Children younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating. But it’s important for every child to know safety tips before the fun begins, so make sure to talk to your children about safe behavior! Talk to them about when it is safe to walk and cross the street, and be sure that children under 12 know that they should stay with an adult at all times. Try to use sidewalks and walking paths when trick-or-treating, but when they aren’t available, it is safest to face traffic and walk as far to the left as possible. Crossing the street is always safest at corners and sidewalks, and children should be reminded to never cross the street without an adult. And don’t forget glow sticks or flashlights when trick-or-treating to help kids see where they are going and prevent trips and falls, and help drivers see kids.
If your child is over 12 and trick-or-treating without you this year, plan a route for them in advance in familiar and well-lit areas. Encourage them to stay with a friend or in a group at all times, and remind them to never enter a stranger’s home or car.
Parents should check all treats and candy for signs of tampering before children dig into their goodies. Candy should be thrown away of the wrapper is faded or torn, or if the candy is unwrapped. At the end of the night, if your child still has makeup or face paint on, make sure to take all of the makeup off and clean your child’s face thoroughly.
Driving on Halloween
When driving through a residential neighborhood on Halloween, remember to slow down and be extra cautious! Stay on the lookout for children who might move quicker and less carefully due to the excitement of the holiday. And as always, limit distractions while driving. Cell phone use while driving is never safe, but it is especially dangerous on Halloween.