Halloween is a fun, festive time of the year for kids and parents alike. However, the Halloween celebration does come with its share of accidents and mishaps, therefore, the proper precautions must be taken to keep things fun and safe. Here is a complete guide of safety tips to follow this Halloween.
Costume Safety Tips
While many people seek out the cutest, most authentic looking costume pieces to adorn their children, costume safety should be their first priority. When buying or designing a costume for your child, consider the following:
- Find a costume that is bright in color. Trick-or-treating is traditionally done during the evening, which means you have a heavy amount of traffic both on and off the sidewalk. Keep your child visible in these low light conditions for both pedestrians and vehicles with a bright-colored costume.
- Use reflective material. For increased visibility, look for reflective material for your child's costume, even if you have to equip your kids with orange, safety vests lined with reflective borders. You can also attach reflective tape to your child's costume or trick-or-treat bag.
- Keep in mind that a mask can obstruct your child's vision. Even if they tell you they can see through the mask, some children aren't fully aware that the mask is partially blocking their field of view.
- Test costume makeup on a small area of your child's skin. Spot testing Halloween makeup will help you test if your child is allergic to it.
- Make sure the entire costume fits well. Your child should be able to move about freely when wearing the costume (including the shoes). Avoid costumes that can get easily snagged, or can cause your child to trip and fall.
- Any weapons or props should look and feel harmless. Make sure weapons like swords and sickles are soft, bendable and do not have a pointed end. Any harmful looking weapons, including guns and ammunition should be brightly colored (preferably in bright neon colors) so they aren't mistaken for real weapons.
Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips
Before you set out on your trick-or-treating trip with your kids, make sure you go over the following guidelines and safety tips:
- Trick-or-treat in a group and make sure the children in your group stay together. Children should never venture out of sight from their guardian, and should never enter a house unless they know the person and their guardian is accompanying them.
- Carry a flashlight at all times. Flashlights will keep you and your party visible, while also lighting your path.
- Always use the sidewalk and crosswalks near busy intersections. Walk on the side of the road that is facing traffic so that you can see oncoming traffic at all times. Be sure to look both ways when crossing the street.
- Be careful around fire lit candles or luminaries.
- Do not allow your children to eat candy until it has been inspected. Children might be tempted to reach into their bags for candy before you've gone home to inspect their loot. Explain to them that you need to check the candy first for safety reasons.
- Toss any candy that has an open wrapper. Examine candy that can possibly be a choking hazard, or too difficult for your child to eat and take them away. Also avoid any homemade treats unless you know the person who served them and can attest to the food's safety.
- Don't just leave your children with all their Halloween candy. On a good haul, your children can accumulate more candy during Halloween than you would ever consider buying them in an entire year. After inspecting the candy, you should set it aside and distribute it to your children in limited amounts. The last thing you want is your children eating a year's worth of candy in one night!
[For information on Halloween candy nutrition facts, see Frightening Nutrition Facts On Halloween Candy]
Making Your Home Safe for Halloween
Now that you are aware of how to keep your children safe during Halloween, it's time to consider the rest of the neighborhood. Here is a list of safety tips for your home to keep other trick-or-treaters safe:
- Avoid using fire lit jack-o'-lanterns and luminaries. To prevent the risk of burns or a fire in the neighborhood, look for safer methods of lighting up your Halloween decorations, like child-safe, battery powered, plastic bulbs.
- Keep your home is well lit. Make sure that the driveway, front door and walkways are properly lit to avoid trips and falls.
- Make sure your walkways and steps are free of any debris. An excess of Halloween décor can be considered debris if it prevents your visitors from safely making it to your door and back. Clear a safe path for them to walk on.
- Control your pets and make sure they are leashed or inside. You don't want your dog barking and scaring small children. Make sure your pets that aren't used to visitors are caged, leashed or kept in a room where they won't cause trouble.
More Halloween Tips
- If you feel comfortable letting your older children venture out on their own, make sure you know the route they are taking and that they have a cellphone and that they use it to check-in.
- A good alternative to trick-or-treating in a neighborhood would be to attend an organized event, or even visit a local mall to avoid the dangers of moving vehicles.
- Invite the children of friends, family and neighbors to accompany your kids so that you have on large group that is easily visible to traffic.
- Serve your kids a hearty, pre-Halloween meal so that they are too full to stuff themselves with candy when they return from trick-or-treating.
[For healthy snacks to feed your kids before they go out trick-or-treating, check out 5 Healthy Halloween Snacks For Kids]