Halloween is on the horizon. While this holiday has ancient roots, today it’s a fun day of creativity, self-expression, and candy! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 41.2 million costumed trick-or-treaters will take to the streets on October 31st. Keep Halloween safe and fun for the young (and young-at-heart) with the following Halloween Safety Tips.
1. Make costumes easily visible. This doesn’t mean that you can’t haunt the neighborhood in a dark grim reaper outfit, or show off your moves as a black cat. Consider adding reflective tape to costumes or treat bags. For less than $5 you can buy a roll of iron-on reflective tape. You don’t even need sewing skills — just a few minutes and a hot iron will do the trick.
2. Consider accessorizing your costume with glow sticks. Let’s face it, kids love glow sticks. If you provide a glow stick necklace or bracelet to your little goblins, chances are they will be thrilled to wear it. Glow sticks are both practical and fun — definitely a win/win situation! Kids and parents out at night might consider carrying flashlights as well.
3. Wear comfortable shoes and make sure costumes don’t impair vision or movement. A long princess dress may be beautiful, but it stops being fun if the royalty trips over it. Try to avoid masks that may limit vision. Props, such as that pirate sword or pitchfork, should be flexible and lightweight so no one gets hurt.
General Safety Tips
4. Plan the trick-or-treating route in advance. Stay in well-lit areas, preferably in a neighborhood that’s familiar to you. Teach children to never enter a house unless you are with them.
5. Have children memorize all of the important info they need to reach you. Children should know your cell phone number as well as their home address, just in case. If your child has a cell phone, make sure that they know to call 911 in an emergency.
6. Avoid suspicious strangers. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, parents should teach their kids to yell “NO!” in a loud voice if someone tries to coerce them. Kids should never go somewhere or get into a vehicle with someone they do not now. Yelling, screaming, and kicking are all acceptable ways to fight back if someone tries to grab a child.
7. There’s always safety in numbers. Go out trick-or-treating in small groups. Older kids should watch out for their younger cohorts. A parent should supervise younger children.
8. Never let young children carve pumpkins. Even older kids need adequate supervision during this traditional activity. Get creative, too — allow kids to paint pumpkins. Or jazz up those festive gourds with washi tape or spray glitter. Your imagination is the only limit!
9. Feed your trick-or-treaters a healthy meal before they hit the streets. This may discourage them from binging on all of the tempting sweets. Ration the candy in the days following Halloween. We give you permission to initiate a candy tax in return for your oversight. You may even consider giving out non-candy treats, such as pencils or spider rings, to balance out all of the sugar.
10. Examine the haul. If you have a child with allergies, this is an especially important step. Also, look through the candy to make sure it’s all in the original packaging. Don’t accept homemade treats from people you don’t know. This is obvious as far as Halloween safety tips go, but it bears repeating.
We are big fans of Halloween here at GKBM law! Hopefully, these Halloween safety tips helped you plan a memorable day. We wish you and your family a festive night of trick-or-treating.