Halloween can be seriously spooky for parents. Allowing kids to go off at night and ask for candy isn’t an everyday activity, and there are definitely some risks that come with trick-or-treating. However, there are many ways to make your child a little safer on Halloween while still letting them have fun.
Attach an ID card — No one plans for their little ones to wander off, but it can happen. Put an ID card with your contact information on a lanyard around their neck or sewn into the back of their costume just in case.
Light Up — Hopefully you’re on well-lit streets, but be prepared for some darkness. Glow sticks and glow bracelets/necklaces can be fun for the kids. Reflective tape on costumes also helps. The supervising adult should carry a flashlight too (and remember to test those batteries).
No Eating — Make sure your trick-or-treater knows that candy needs to be inspected at home. No digging into the bag before the outing is over.
Make a Plan — Map out your route ahead of time. Make sure you know how long your kids can walk around before they get tired and cranky. Plan bathroom breaks. You should also check if your town has a special curfew on Halloween.
Cell Phones — Keep a fully charged phone with the supervising adult. If older kids are going on their own, make sure they have one too.
Safe Costumes — Make sure everything fits. Costumes that are too long can cause trick-or-treaters to trip and fall. Similarly, ill-fitting masks can obstruct vision. Colored contact can also have several concerning side effects. Go for face paint instead.
Allergy Testing — Make sure your child can handle whatever they wear. Test face paint on a small patch of their inner arm a few days before.
Dietary Restrictions — Find out if anyone in your group of trick-or-treaters is allergic to chocolate or nuts. If it’s a serious allergy, have their medication on hand just in case someone tries to sneak in a candy bar early. Teal pumpkins indicate that a house is giving out goodies for the allergy-prone kids.
Crosswalks — Remind them that the rules of the road don’t go out the window on Halloween night. Be sure to use crosswalks and look both ways before crossing the street.
Buddy System — If you’re the adult in charge of a group, make the kids team up. You’re less likely to lose one if everyone is looking out for each other.
Keep Props Safe — Try to use soft props, made of foam, if possible. If your kid just has to carry the plastic sword or axe, be sure to talk to them about not actually hitting people with it.
Avoid Fire — Skip the house with the candle-lined walkway. Kids’ capes and dresses can easily catch fire. Just in case you can’t avoid the flames, buy flame retardant costumes.
Dress for October — If winter is already setting in near you, that mermaid costume is going to need some adjustments. Figure out if they need to wear layers underneath their costumes.
Talk — Have a chat with your kids about the rules, even if they’ve heard them before. Establish clear guidelines about what they can expect and what you want to see from them. Also, it’s a good time to refresh their memory on what to do in case of an emergency.
Check out your local police department or town website to find more safety tips that are specific to your area.