Halloween is a momentous occasion for kids of all ages; a day they look forward to with glee. What other day of the year can you play dress up, stay up late, and knock on strangers’ doors demanding candy? Despite our kids’ eager anticipation, Halloween can be a hectic (or shall we say frightful?) time for moms, especially if you’re kids are trick-or-treating with new friends in a new neighborhood. Before your little monsters head out the door this year, follow these simple tips to keep them safe, comfortable, and happy.
Scope out the neighborhood
It’s a good idea to check out the trick-or-treating circuit during daylight hours before your kids head out, especially if you’re new in town and don’t know the area. Look for tripping hazards, areas of heavy traffic, or spots that don’t have a proper sidewalk or wide shoulders. Planning your route in advance will help you and your kids steer clear obstacles.
Tag along with your youngsters
Kids under the age of 12 should always trick-or-treat with a responsible adult chaperone. Walking around with your kids will also give you an excuse to get out and meet the neighbors. If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat without adult supervision, make sure they walk with a group and stick to areas they know well.
A carefully planned costume can make all the difference on Halloween night and the key to a safe and comfortable costume is in the details.
- Wear proper footwear – sneakers are ideal, with extra points for the cool ones that light up the night. No flip-flops, high heels, or extra-large clown feet. Those look cool, but really- they’re not fun.
- Face paint forever – If you have a choice, choose face paint over masks. Not only are masks uncomfortable, but they hinder visibility and make walking unsafe.
- Choose costumes wisely – Costumes that are extremely bulky or drag on the ground should be avoided. Not only are they unsafe, but your children will want to rip them off before the night is through.
- Increase visibility – Use reflective tape on costumes and treat bags, especially if they are dark in color.
- Every child should have a headlamp, flashlight or glow stick.
- Stay on the sidewalk or shoulder when walking.
- Only trick-or-treat at houses that are lit up. Neighbors who don’t want to be disturbed will keep the lights off.
- Keep cell-phones and other handheld devices at home. They are a distraction and cause accidents.
- Walk, don’t run across the street, and be sure to watch for cars before crossing.
- If you are trick-or-treating with children under the age of four, bring along a stroller or wagon in case they get tired. This is also a great place to store water bottles, extra jackets, and discarded costume props.
- Children and adults should make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front of a car.
Halloween night is a great time to get out and explore your community and visit with your neighbors and their children. Whether you’re new to the neighborhood, or revisiting your old haunts, following these easy safety tips will ensure that your kids have a spooktacular Halloween.