Parents of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun themselves that they might forget some simple safety ideas that could keep everyone out of trouble. Having a fun and safe Halloween will make it all worthwhile! Don't forget these safety reminders this Halloween:
- Serve your kids a filling meal before trick or treating and they won't be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check. Check your local grocery store or craft store for Halloween cook books full of tasty treats on a horror theme for both kids and adults.
- Help your young child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make sure that its fire proof or treated with fire retardant. If they are wearing a mask of any kind, make sure that the eye holes are large enough for good peripheral vision.
- Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren't going with them. Let them know that they are to check in with you every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure that they know not to deviate from the planned route so that you always know where they will be.
- Trick or treating isn't what it used to be. In most cities it's not safe to let kids walk the streets by themselves. Your best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can't take them yourself, see if another parent or two can.
- Be sure to show your children know how to cross a street properly. They should always look both ways before crossing the street and should only cross at corners or crosswalks. Make sure that if you have more than one child, they know to take the hand of the younger child when they cross a street.
- Teach your kids about not getting into strangers cars or talking to strangers, no matter what the person says to them. Explain to them as simply as you can that some adults are bad and want to hurt children, that they should never go into a house that they don't know, get into a car or go anywhere with a stranger. Also, tell them what to do should this happen, to scream as loud as they can to draw attention and to run away as fast as they can to someplace safe.
- Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall functions. If they are going to be at a friend’s home, get the phone number and make sure that you've met the parents.
- Make sure your kids know how important it is for them to be home on time or to call immediately if something happens and they are going to be delayed.
- Explain to kids of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they've made.
Focus on these safety reminders this Halloween to make it a fun, safe and happy time for your kids. They'll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!