Loads of candy and dressing up in costumes make Halloween a favorite holiday for children of all ages. Parents, on the other hand, see it as a night to worry about potential dangers. Wandering the streets at night, and trusting strangers to give out candy that is safe for your child, are just some of the worries that may cross your mind.
In order to ease some concerns, let’s review some Halloween safety tips so you can have peace of mind while your child is out trick or treating.
Part of the fun of Halloween is embracing your dark side, and dressing up like the characters that haunt your nightmares. However, these characters often wear black or other dark colors. While this is scary, it is also dangerous to dress that way when walking around at night.
If your child chooses a costume that doesn’t have bright colors, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you place reflective tape on their costume and candy bag. This will make them easily identifiable to the drivers on the road during trick-or-treating.
Make Sure It Fits
Even though we try and find a costume that fits, the costumes from from party supply stores rarely fit exactly the way we’d like. This can be dangerous for children, especially when they’re out running around while trick-or-treating.
To prevent them from tripping over their costume and sustaining an injury that will ruin their night, make sure your child can safely run around in their costume without falling. Similarly, a mask can be too big and block a child’s vision if it does not fit properly, so be sure to check for this before your child leaves the house.
The CDC also recommends against decorative contact lenses. Although many claim “one size fits all,” or “no prescription necessary,” they may not be safe for your child. If your child does want to wear decorative contact lenses, it is best that you visit your eye care professional and get a prescription pair to avoid an unnecessary eye injury.
Make Sure It Won’t Poke an Eye Out
Very often, children want to dress up as a swashbuckling pirate, scary monsters, or fairy princesses. These and many other costumes are paired with a sword, knife, or wand of some kind that could be dangerous.
The CDC recommends that parents of a child whose costume has such an accessory should take extra care that it is safe. This means making sure the accessory is short, soft, and flexible so the inevitable fake sword fight ends with imaginary injuries, and not real ones.
Know the Rules
Many towns post specific times for trick-or-treating, so be sure to check what time your town permits it before you and your child head out this year. Posting specific times offers people who give out candy a time frame for how long they have to make their candy last, but more importantly informs drivers that the streets will be packed with children.
However, just because specific times are posted, and drivers are aware that trick-or-treating is taking place, doesn’t mean basic safety rules like looking both ways before crossing the street can be ignored. The CDC recommends that people stick to the sidewalk even though there may not be any cars on the road, and only cross the street at crosswalks.
Screen the Candy
The CDC recommends that parents accompany children under the age of 12 when out looking for candy. While most people just give out commercial candy, some people try and get creative and give out homemade candies. Despite their good intentions, it is best to for your child to avoid any candy from someone if it is not commercially wrapped.
If you are out with your child, be sure to monitor the candies they receive and check each piece for wrapper tampering before they eat it. If they go trick-or-treating without you, discuss a pre-arranged route before they go, and check the candy when they get home.
Ultimately, following these tips might give your child the best opportunity to have a great night, while simultaneously easing your nerves about them taking candy from strangers. We typically tell our children not take candy from strangers, and for good reason, except for one night a year. Following these tips should help keep your child safe, like every other night of the year when they don’t go knocking on the doors of complete strangers asking them for candy.