Are ghouls, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, and creepy crawlers on display in your neighborhood yet? Maybe a simple but cute pumpkin or fall wreath adorns your front door in anticipation of this year’s spooky season. Enjoy every second of seeing your bright-eyed child dressed as perhaps their favorite Disney character or superhero. As we know, these moments are fleeting as they are bound to grow up.
The Coalition would like to ensure that your families have a memorable and safe Halloween this year. One filled with bursts of laughter, rekindled enthusiasm, and a few harmless scares. We, however, do not want those scares to come from the many hazards that may be lurking during trick-or-treating.
Here are 5 simple tips to help keep your child safe during trick-or-treating:
Inspect their candy
We’ve all heard the horror stories of children innocently biting into a candy bar only to find an unexpected choking hazard. Inspect all candy for possible tampering or opened packaging. Dispose of any suspicious items. If your child has any food allergies, make sure items containing allergies are also discarded. Depending on the severity of the allergies, consider carrying an EpiPen.
If your child is trick-or-treating alone or with a group of friends, ensure they know their emergency contact information. Remind children not to accept rides or ready-made treats from strangers and avoid continuous conversations with unfamiliar adults. They should also stay in well-populated and well-lit areas and avoid entering anyone’s house unless accompanied by a trusted adult.
Add reflective elements to your child’s costume, like groovy glow-in-the-dark stickers or glow bands. This will help enhance their visibility to drivers and others traveling in often dimly lit areas. It’s also a good idea for them to carry a flashlight.
Supervision is key
Younger children should be accompanied by a responsible adult, older sibling, or family friend while trick-or-treating. This will help ensure their safety and help them navigate their trick-or-treating route with less risk of getting lost.
Set a curfew and enable their “location” on their phone
If your child is old enough to have a phone, enable their location to stay informed of their whereabouts throughout the night. Set a reasonable curfew to provide an opportunity for your child to learn about responsibility and the importance of adhering to rules and guidelines. Having a curfew also opens up communication between you and your child and helps to set expectations to ensure both parties are on the same page.
Have a safe, festive, and spooktacular Halloween!