Halloween is only days away. The time for pumpkin carving, crazy and scary costumes, and horror movies means one big thing for kids: LOTS of candy! Most children will hit the sidewalks with parents or friends to go door-to-door in the quest for the heaviest bag of sweet loot. But while Halloween is typically good fun and sweet treats, All Hallows’ Eve isn’t always the safest for kids.
While ghouls and ghosts aren’t necessarily out for fright on this scary night, the fear of stranger danger, accidents and safely navigating the dark night are very real concerns. To keep your kids safe this Halloween, be proactive in getting them ready to safely handle this fun and spooky night of costumes and candy.
Young children (that is, those under middle school age) should not go out trick-or-treating by themselves or even alone with friends. Yes, there is safety in groups. But young kids are more prone to dangers of bigger kids or menacing predators. Kids should be accompanied by an adult to ensure safety!
Older kids who are heading out into the night with friends should always carry their cell phone. Make sure they have a way to get in touch with you in case of emergency. However, Halloween also can be a night of pranks for older teens; discuss cell rules with older kids and reiterate that snapping embarrassing pictures of others on Halloween and posting images on social media is not OK. And parents also should carry their phone when taking their youngsters out for trick-or-treating. Accidents happen…especially with so many kids and adults out on sidewalks at the same time. Be safe…not sorry.
When we were kids, candy wasn’t as monitored as it is today. The reality is that candy contains few nutritional benefits while being loaded with calories and sugar. If you’re not the parent who plans to let your kid have a candy party after coming home with their stash, you may try to set candy limits or even encourage children to exchange their candy for books or a toy. You may even want to write up a Halloween themed candy contract that states the candy rules…like how long the candy will be kept. You may even include a ‘candy payment’ for parents!
This is the only night where we allow our kids to randomly knock on neighbors’ doors and ask for candy. Some neighbors we may not even know personally. Make sure kids know not to enter the house and other rules of staying safe. Also, be sure kids remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you!’
Trick-or-treating is an old and beloved Halloween tradition. But on the scariest night of the year, be sure that your kids are street-smart and well prepared before they leave the house in their costume. For more tips about keeping kids safe on Halloween, check out the infographic.