Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Parents

Halloween is an annual celebration that kids – and parents – spend weeks preparing for. Costumes, parties, door-to-door trick-or-treating, decorations, special candies and snacks: lots of fun? Absolutely! But every parent’s constant fear is that something will happen to their excited, happy and distracted child: something that could easily have been prevented.

What can you do to prepare your child for a safe but still fun Halloween? These Halloween safety tips will help protect your child.

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids

  1. Insist on adult supervision: Do not allow your child to trick-or-treat door-to-door unless an adult is with them to supervise. Different neighborhoods enact different trick-or-treat policies: some neighborhoods mandate weekends, others recommend daylight hours. Other neighborhoods have banned door-to-door trick-or-treating altogether out of fear or because of previous problems. Whatever your neighborhood’s policy, make sure that if your children are going door-to-door there is an adult accompanying them. Not an older sibling who is also trick-or-treating: an adult whose sole responsibility is to supervise the children.
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  3. Make sure your child can see and be seen: Costumes cute or scary, homemade or high-priced, elaborate or very simple are all designed to change your appearance.
    1. If your child is wearing a mask or some type of costume that covers or hides their face – glasses, hoods, hats, wigs – make sure that your child can see clearly and that their vision is not impaired.
    2. In many neighborhoods afterschool trick-or-treating starts in the late afternoon when the sun is setting, and continues well after dark. The darker it gets, the less visible your child becomes. Neighborhood car traffic, unfamiliar stairs and shrubbery, dozens of children running from house to house can all cause a chaotic and confusing situation. Make your child more visible by:
      1. putting reflective tape on their costume and trick or treat bag
      2. requiring your child to carry a flashlight to use when they can’t see
      3. having your child wear glow-in-the dark necklaces and bracelets
  4. Instruct your child to never enter a stranger’s house: Review all safety procedures with your child before they leave the house. To a child, parents who have instructed them to never talk to strangers seem to be making an exception on Halloween by allowing them to trick-or-treat in their neighborhood. Remind your child of safety procedures:
    1. use the buddy system and always stay close to a friend
    2. never enter a stranger’s home
    3. don’t give personal information such as phone numbers or addresses to strangers
  5. Be a good pedestrian: More than any other night children should be using sidewalks, crossing at corners, looking both ways, not darting between cars. Just because an adult is present doesn’t authorize dangerous pedestrian behaviors.
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  7. No vandalism: even very young and well-behaved children can get caught up in the excitement and think that smashing pumpkins, pushing over scarecrows, or pulling down ghosts is a fun and accepted Halloween activity. Older kids need to be reminded that Halloween is not an excuse for egging, TPing, or soap houses or cars: activities they know would not be tolerated any other night.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents and Adults

  1. Slow down: If you’re driving your car on Halloween slow down, look twice and don’t assume that excited kids can see you.
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  3. Light up: If you are welcoming trick-or-treaters be sure to turn on bright lights both inside and outside the house. Even if you have a scary theme for your Halloween decorations, be sure that stairs and other property hazards are well-lit so that excited children don’t get hurt.
    1. In many neighborhoods its accepted practice to turn your exterior lights off if you do not want trick-or-treaters.
  4. Check the treat bag: Razors hidden in apples and drug-laced candies have become something of a Halloween myth: but they have happened. Stay vigilant about what your child is eating, and if it looks suspicious, toss it. After all, you wouldn’t but a product at the grocery store that had clearly been tampered with!

Halloween is a fun holiday, and a day that children and parents look forward to for weeks. With some planning and a firm set of rules, Halloween can also be a safe holiday for parents to enjoy with their children.

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