Halloween is something a lot of children look forward to all year long—but unfortunately, it can also be a time of the sort of mischief parents want to avoid. Keep these safety tips in mind to ensure that your little ghouls and goblins stay safe while trick-or-treating.
Don’t Go It Alone
Use the buddy system to gain safety in numbers. Groups of two or more are not only good for safety reasons, but trick-or-treating with friends is more fun, anyway. Keep your cell phone charged in case you need to call for a ride or if there is an emergency.
While older kids will probably balk at the idea of mom and dad accompanying them on their quest for candy, this is something worth arguing over. Kids under 12 should have an adult with them at all times. If they think that’s lame and they’re being treated like a baby, stay far enough behind them that they don’t feel like you’re hovering or eavesdropping on their conversation, but you can still see them.
While you’re walking around in pursuit of a sugar rush, be sure not to pay more attention to your phone than your feet or you might wind up hurting yourself. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially since there will be a lot more traffic on the sidewalk than on a normal day. If you’re driving from place to place, this goes double for you! Texting and driving is a terrible idea any time, but in particular when the roads will be full of small children in a rush to get to the next house and not looking where they are going. It only takes a second for a little monster to dart into the street, so stay on high alert.
Follow all traffic signs, and be sure to stop at stop signs and look both ways before crossing the street. Even if you can see that nobody is coming, it sets a good example for the little ones watching you. While you’re out and about, be aware of homes with pets that could make a break for it through an open door, as well as stray animals roaming about. Pets are supposed to be on a leash if they are outdoors, so if you decide to bring Fido with you, make sure he’s not going to get away from you and scare a child, or worse.
Like most activities, trick-or-treating goes more smoothly if you plan ahead. Plan a route of houses where you know the occupants, and you won’t have to worry about candy being tainted or otherwise unsafe. Bring along a flash light, and be sure to wear shoes you can walk in comfortably for an extended period. Even though you’re going to be going in a group and don’t plan to split up, choose a meeting point just in case you get separated.
When you’re choosing costumes, it’s probably best to avoid accessories that hinder the wearer’s vision, which could include masks, wigs, dark glasses, or hoods. If you just can’t resist going as Sia or an Imperial Storm Trooper, be sure that another adult in your group has unimpaired vision so they can’t help you out.
Stick with houses of people you know when it’s time to trick-or-treat. Luckily, this is pretty easy in a neighborhood like the Heights were people tend to get to know their neighbors and enjoy a sense of community. Never accept rides from a stranger, on Halloween or any other time.