If you are heading out with your child tonight for a little fun, keep safety in mind! These six tips are easy to do, and can be done in a flash this afternoon before you head out. Stay aware of your surroundings to make sure tonight is filled with fun and laughs, not tears and tantrums!
Map it Out
If you are heading to a neighborhood other than your own, it’s a great idea to map out your route ahead of time. Since Halloween falls on a school night for most of us this year, you will want to have a solid plan to hit as many houses as you can in a short period of time. Don’t get stuck without a plan!
If you are heading to a neighborhood that is known to be crowded on Halloween, make a parking plan as well. Driving your kids house to house increases traffic, which can make crossing of roads dangerous for little ones. If you are driving, go slow and stay aware of the children on the sidewalks. Small (and big!) kids can and do dash out in their excitement to get to the cool house across the street.
Identify Costume Issues
Is your child’s costume a bit long and dragging on the ground? Hem it up this afternoon to prevent falls. Long costumes are especially hard to navigate at night. They also tend to drag against decorations, some of which may have lit candles in them.
Other costume issues to identify are masks that prevent vision, shoes that become uncomfortable, and costumes without enough color for a child to be seen. Most of these issues can be dealt with quickly today, so that you can insure a safer evening.
Check your Props
If your child’s costume comes with props, be sure that they are flexible and not going to cause an accidental injury. Remember that kids WILL be running tonight, so stiff or sharp props are nothing but a hazard waiting to happen. If possible, consider letting your child go free of props so that they can move easily. In reality, it is likely you will be carrying that prop by the end of the night, so why not leave it out so everyone can have a good time.
Light it Up
Swing by any mass retailer today, and you should be able to find some lighting option for your child to wear. Glow sticks, tiny flashlights, or other fun lighting accessories help your child be seen. A child that can be seen is much safer on a dark Halloween night.
This can be a tough one for parents…since you will likely want to hand out candy at your own home as well. But, if you can go along with your children while they walk door to door…you really should. You may be able to team up with your neighbors and take turns taking groups of kids out. This chaperone can watch for issues, safety hazards, or anything else that may come up on a Trick or Treating Excursion. You’ll love seeing the kid’s excitement, get a little evening walk, and come home ready to steal a few treats for your sweet darling’s bag (shhh! Don’t tell that part!)
Check that Candy
I grew up in an era when we were always checking the candy because of incidents that happened in the national news. Today, that has seemed to be less of an issue than in the past, but we still NEED to be aware of the potential issues.
Go through your children’s candy. Toss out anything not in its original wrapper, any candy that has become opened, and any homemade treat from a stranger. This is a hard one for me, as I love homemade treats, but they should be eaten ONLY if you know exactly who made that treat.
Have a little too much candy? Many local dentists do candy buy-back programs. You can also donate candy to lots of local places…keep your eye on your local news to learn about what’s available in your neighborhood. If all else fails, share the candy with co-workers and spread the love. Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then!