Halloween is just under three weeks away, so it’s time to begin thinking about ensuring it will be a safe night for you and your children. This will be the fourth in a series of articles about how to do just that.
Trick or Treating should be one of the best adventures of Halloween for kids. Not only can they dress up in great costumes, this is the one time they are allowed to beg. If you are able to go out with your kids, why not join in the fun and dress up with them. Your kids will love it.
Many parents claim “first dibs” on the Halloween bounty as the reward for taking the children out for the evening. Just remember that too much candy intake at one time can lead to stomach aches and indigestion not only for the kids, but for moms and dads, too!
Trick or Treating should be a fun time, without trouble or pain for anyone. Following these easy tips paraphrased from those provided by The Halloween Safety™ website can help you keep your child safe every Halloween.
- Children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult when trick or treating. If your child is going with a group, the parents should get together to decide which of them will be going along to keep an eye on things.
- Determine whether or not your area sets a curfew for trick or treating. Stick to subdivisions and areas with a lot of homes so your kids can get in as much trick or treating as possible.
- Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring home their candy to be examined by you. This way you can check for any potential problems.
- Instruct your children, at length, to never go into the home of a stranger nor get into their car. Take the time to explain why this is not a good idea as well as what they should do if they are approached by someone they don’t know that tries to talk to them. (The same advice is true if someone approaches them and makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.)
- Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to drivers.
- Caution your child not to run across streets without looking or to enter streets from between parked cars.
- Remind your children to stay together as a group if, for some reason, they happen to be Trick or Treating without an adult.
- Stress the importance of your children not cutting through back alleys and fields if they will be out alone (older children should be the only ones out alone). Remind them to remain in populated areas and not take short cuts off the beaten track. Explain why it is important for them to stay in well-lit areas with lots of people around. Share that if they are old enough to be out alone, they are old enough to act responsibly and to understand the kinds of bad things that can happen if they don’t.
- If you have children who are going to be out on their own, make sure they have a working cell phone with them. Require them to check in with you on a timeline you agree to before they leave home. Have them provide you their itinerary for the night. Give them a curfew and ensure they know you expect them to meet it.
Your children, particularly your older children, may feel you are being overly cautious; however, pedophiles and other predators know there will be opportunities for them to snatch a child in the midst of all the excitement. While you don’t want to be paranoid about that possibility, as parents, you need to be aware of it.
Stay tuned for other tips to make your Halloween celebration a fun one.