Tips for Maximum Safety and Enjoyment on Halloween
If your kids are like mine, they are already making plans for Halloween. Young children envision going trick-or-treating with their parents, older kids plan to go with friends. Whether you go trick or treating with your kids or not, there are things you can do to ensure they stay safe. Here are 10 things you can do to ensure the safety and happiness of your kids this Halloween.
- Make sure their costumes are visible in the dark. Every Halloween many children are injured by vehicles. This can be prevented by wearing clothes that are visible even on the darkest night. You can dress your children in light colored costumes, or you can purchase reflective tape to add to their costumes. I recommend doing both.
- Give them flashlights with working batteries. Even when drivers and others can see your kids clearly, their vision may still be severely limited. They can trip over something in the street, or may even become easily frightened. A flashlight will illuminate their way and give them an extra level of security.
- Avoid using masks. Costume masks can hinder a child’s visibility and even completely eliminate peripheral vision. It is difficult to find a ready made mask these days, but people are still tempted to make them. Paint your child’s face instead.
- Travel in groups. There is safety in numbers. If you are an adult going out with your child, go with another family. If your child is going out with friends, make them understand the importance of staying with the group. Kids should travel with at least other friends. A group of two can easily be separated.
- Do not eat the treats until you get home. Unfortunately, there are some really evil people who will poison or hurt kids if given the chance. No matter how tempting the treats looks, make it clear that they are not to eat anything until they get home where the candy can be inspected in good light. If you think they cannot resist the temptation, then purchase treats that they can keep in their pocket and eat when they are feeling tempted.
- Only go to lighted houses. If people want to give Halloween treats, they will turn on their outside lights. When people do not want to participate on Halloween, they turn their exterior lightsoff. Do not bother someone who does not want to participate in Halloween. You never know how someone will react.
- No tricks allowed. There was a time when if a child did not receive a treat, then it was acceptable to “trick” them. These tricks were generally harmless, but certainly annoying. I remember waking up many a morning after Halloween to find that one or two housed in the neighborhood was covered in toilet paper, or egg yolk. Thirty years later, I have found that people won’t just grin and bear such vandalism. You or your child could find yourself arrested or sued should they participate in such destructive behavior.
- Do not stay out too late. Younger kids and families should probably be back in the house by 8pm. Preteens without adults should be in by 9pm. In fact everyone should stop trick or treating by 9pm unless it is a weekend, older kids will want to attend parties and hang out with their friends later than that. But by pm most people will be out of candy and many people will have turned out their lights. It is impolite to ring a strangers door after 9 pm, Halloween or not. You don’t want to wake the wrong person after bedtime.
- Avoid rowdy crowds and unruly people. There will be people out on Halloween whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc. They are can be recognized by the tools they carry such as toilet paper and rotten eggs. You may also find them dressed in dark clothes and laughing uncontrollably. You don’t want to be mistaken as a trouble maker, or have them decide to pull a prank on you. The earlier you go out, the more likely you are to avoid trouble makers.
- Follow your instincts. If something in you is telling you to avoid a house or a group of people then don’t push past the fear. Humans have instincts for a reason. Do not second guess yourself.