In many communities, Trick or Treating occurs right after school, a sweet proposition for kids who can’t wait to don their costumes. But for parents, this safety-conscious trend may strike a sour note.
Many, if not most, working moms and dads simply can’t get home early enough to supervise and otherwise take part in the fun. But that doesn’t mean you can’t establish important ground rules for the nanny, babysitter, or grandparent who will be responsibility for your little ghost or goblin.
7 Halloween Safety Tips for Parents to Share with Caregivers
Talk to your kids about Halloween safety. We’re always filling our kids with information intended to keep them safe, and Halloween should be no exception. Instead of simply saying, “Be safe” call out certain things your kids should look for like lights (see # 5) and explain why these Halloween safety rules are particularly important, especially on a night where faces may be obscured by masks or face paint (a better choice from a safety perspective).
Keep your yard safe. Make sure your own yard is free of any debris or other objects such as broken lawn equipment (or furniture) so that no one trips and consider battery-powered lanterns versus candles, since those can pose a fire hazard. Keep the front door area well lit, too.
Dump the candy. No, we don’t mean toss it in the trash. Just make sure an adult has sifted through and inspected the coveted loot. It’s a great opportunity for kids to actually see what they’ve collected (and give the grown-up a piece or two as well!). Check for anything that seems out of the ordinary, including unpackaged popcorn, fruit, and other unsealed foods.
Walk, don’t run. Whether your children will be traveling along sidewalks or by the side of the road (we recommend sidewalks whenever possible), it’s always advisable for everyone to walk. Even though Trick or Treating begins during daylight, chances are that the festivities will end at dusk or later. Ghosts and goblins are easier to keep track of when they’re walking. And be sure to cross at street corners.
Carry a flashlight. Keep a flashlight handy to illuminate the way and while we’re on the subject, stick only to the houses with lights on outside (and ideally the homes of people you and your kids know).
Watch for cars. In the spirit of the night, kids sometimes forget that not everyone goes Trick or Treating. And unfortunately drivers don’t always remember that IT’S A BIG NIGHT that requires extra care.
Set expectations. Make sure you let everyone know how late the kids can be out and how much candy they can consume before heading to bed for the night. (And make sure all the kids brush their teeth!)