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It’s just three days until all the neighborhood kids hit the street to go trick-or-treating! If you’re a parent whose kids are eager to get into costume for Halloween and collect as much candy as possible while lightly spooking passersby, you’ve probably thought about when you were first trick or treating and tried to remember as many basic safety rules as possible. If you’re looking to make sure your kids have a safe, fun night of trick-or-treating, refresh your memory with these five Halloween safety tips for kids.
1. Inspect all treats
Possibly the most fundamental rule of Halloween is to inspect your kids’ treats before they eat them. Throw out any candy that isn’t sealed, has a torn wrapper, or otherwise appears suspicious. If your kids have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, make sure that any treats they’ve gotten are free of problematic ingredients. If your trick-or-treaters are especially young, make sure that anything they eat is free of choking hazards such as nuts, gum, and hard candies.
2. Look both ways when crossing
This fundamental public safety rule is especially vital on Halloween. With groups of kids crossing crowded streets to get candy from as many houses as possible, the chances of cars hitting them increase. This isn’t just conjecture – Halloween often leads to twice as many children being hit by cars as on any other night of the year. Even if your kids are eager to visit a bunch of houses as quickly as possible, make sure they know that crossing the street can always wait.
3. Choose homes carefully
Just because Halloween is meant for getting candy from neighbors doesn’t mean that every house should be visited. Tell your kids to trick-or-treat only at houses that are well lit, and make sure they know never to enter any homes other than their own or their friends’ houses. If you’re especially worried about certain houses in your neighborhood, you can pre-determine a trick-or-treating route for your kids and tell them they can’t deviate from the course.
4. Consider your costume choices
Halloween night can be pretty chilly! Make sure your kids’ costumes are appropriately warm. You can have your kids wear thermal inner layers such as a compression shirt or thermal underwear to go with their thin, not-quite-windproof pumpkin or ghost costumes. You’ll also want to discourage masks, because as funny as they might be, they can also block kids’ vision and cause them to lose track of their group or unsafely cross the street.
5. Don’t let them go alone
If your kids are super young, you might want to accompany them trick-or-treating. If they’re in middle school or late elementary school, you might be able to trust a teenage family friend or neighbor (or, better yet, sibling) to lead them and a group of trick-or-treaters – this way, you can stay home and answer the doorbell when other trick-or-treaters show up to ask for candy. If you’re especially worried about your kids getting lost, use a safety pin to secure a piece of paper with your phone number and address to your kids’ costumes.
What are some other basic Halloween safety tips you have your kids follow? Share them in the comments!