With Halloween coming up, you likely want your kids to enjoy a hauntingly fun night, but like most parents, their safety is a major concern. Here are some useful health and safety tips for the spookiest day of the year.
- Make sure your little ones have a good meal before trick-or-treating
To discourage filling up on Halloween sweets and treats, give your kids a healthy meal before trick-or-treating and parties.
- Ration treats for the days following Halloween
Try to keep candy guidelines consistent, realistic, and positive to avoid arguments over treats. Make a plan with your kids so that everyone knows what to expect. Halloween provides an unexpected but great opportunity to teach your little ones about moderation, control, and healthy indulging.
- Keep an eye on what your kids eat at all times
As any parent will tell you, toddlers and babies will put just about anything in their mouth, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on what they eat on Halloween. Make a point of sorting and checking treats before your child eats them. While tampering is rare, you can’t completely rule out the possibility of it happening.
Make sure to examine all the treats that your little one collects and get rid of any unwrapped, spoiled, or suspicious items. Once your child is ready to indulge their sweet tooth at home, remember that toddlers and infants should not have any hard candy, gum, caramel apples, pumpkin seeds, or anything that may contain whole nuts. Small toys, candy wrappers, and stickers can be a choking hazard as well.
- Consider offering non-edible goodies to kids
Halloween can be quite a difficult day to navigate for kids with food allergies. To promote safe trick-or-treating for kids with food allergies, try offering items such as finger puppets, glow sticks, vampire fangs, spider rings, bubbles, bookmarks, whistles, stencils, and stickers.
Trick-or-treat safety tips
- Clear walkways
Little trick-or-treaters will be too busy running around and counting candy to pay attention to where they’re walking, so it’s up to you to survey your compound for potential trip and slip hazards. Make sure that your yard is free of things like tools and hoses, and remember to clear walkways of loose gravel and remove moss off steps. If your home has a sprinkler system, don’t forget to turn it off well in advance of Halloween so that your lawn and walkways dry before kids come around.
- Secure railings
Young kids (and the adults accompanying them) may need the support and security of railings while climbing the steps to get to your front door. Fix any rickety railings that kids may need to use well in advance.
- Keep your pets contained
Barking dogs will not only scare trick-or-treaters of all ages, but they also present a danger. An overzealous dog can break away from your home, and while it may not bite, it could knock down a toddler or scare a tween into the street, creating an even scarier scenario. Consider using pet gates or crates to keep your pets securely confined inside your house until the activities of Halloween night fizzle out.
- Use lots of lights
You might dim the lights in your entryway to set the spooky mood of Halloween, but doing this also increases the risk of accidents. Check all your outdoor lights to make sure that they’re working, and consider turning on your floodlights to illuminate the dark spots of your yard. Even if you don’t plan on being home on Halloween night, consider activating your motion sensor lights or leaving your lights on for safety reasons to discourage unruly characters from vandalizing your home.
- Open the door at your own discretion
While mossy trick-or-treaters are usually enthusiastic kids out to collect as many treats as possible, you should still exercise caution when opening your door. As the Halloween excitement and crowd dies down, it’s a good idea to stop opening your door for the night.
- Create space in your garage
If you plan to go out on Halloween, make room in the garage to store your car securely in it. Kids are four times more likely to be struck by a car on this spooky day than any other day of the year. Furthermore, there’s also potential vehicle theft and vandalism to keep in mind, which is why you may want to refrain from driving on Halloween night if possible.
- Avoid putting out unattended candy
It might seem like a good idea to put out a bowl of candy for excited kids to collect on Halloween to avoid having to keep answering the door. However, there’s always the chance (however slim) that someone could taint the candy, so it might be better to avoid putting out unattended candy altogether.
- Pop your phone number on your kid’s costume
Of course, you’ll keep your little ones close to you when out and about trick-or-treating, but it’s surprisingly easy to lose sight, especially in the dark, of excited kids moving from house to house in a group. Consider sticking your phone number on your child’s Halloween costume just in case.
- Head out early
If you have young kids, consider heading out for trick-or-treating early in the evening. If you go out too late, you risk your little ones getting frightened by the more sinister costumes of older revelers.
- Plan the route
Before heading out for trick-or-treating with your kids, ensure you’ve planned a route, remembering to include road crossing points. That way, you can manage your kids’ expectations in terms of how far from home you’ll go. You’ll also want to reiterate road safety before your evening out.
- Go in a group
If your child is old enough to go out on their own, make sure that they are within a group of at least four other people as there’s safety in numbers.
- Don’t let little kids carve pumpkins
You can cut and carve the pumpkins and then have your kids draw faces on them with markers. For the best control while carving, consider using a small pumpkin saw in small strokes, taking care to direct the blade away from yourself and others.
- Avoid using candles
Candles are a notorious fire hazard. Consider using alternatives like glow sticks or flashlights to light your pumpkins.
Hopefully, these tips will help your kids enjoy a safe Halloween. Of course, don’t forget to let them have fun, and don’t hesitate to join in if possible!