Costumes. Parades. Candy. No wonder so many kids love Halloween! And while many parents look forward to this lighthearted holiday as well, it’s more enjoyable when we have peace of mind knowing our little ones are safe while celebrating. Make it a ghoulishly fun time for everyone by planning ahead and using our Halloween safety tips below!
1. Make Smart Costume Decisions
That ninja or mermaid costume may seem like a wonderful idea at first—that is until your kid can’t see too well at night or is tripping over her tail! Take the following children’s Halloween costume safety tips into consideration before committing to a particular costume.
- If possible, forego masks, as they can obstruct your kid’s view. Choose non-toxic face paints instead. From skeletons and witches to fairies and pirates, there are so many costumes that look amazing with face paint designs.
- If headgear like hats, helmets or wigs are part of your kid’s Halloween costume, ensure they won’t interfere with your child’s view.
- Choose a light-colored costume that makes your child more visible at night. Glow-in-the-dark costumes are also a fantastic option with tons of possibilities! If your little one gives a thumbs down to both these ideas, add reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape to his or her costume and trick-or-treat bag.
- To prevent stumbles and falls, avoid oversized and high-heeled Halloween shoes. Also, make sure the rest of the costume fits well and doesn’t drag on the ground or get caught on shoes.
Extra Tip: Love to DIY your kids’ costumes? Check out our adorable (and safe!) costume ideas for kids of all ages.
2. Create a Plan for Trick-or-Treating
To keep All Hallows’ Eve magical and safe, come up with a safety plan for trick-or-treating in advance, based on the age of your kids.
Kids Under 12 Should:
- Go trick-or-treating with an adult
- Safely cross streets by first looking left and right then continuing to look while crossing
- Have your cell phone number handy or memorized
Older Kids Who Go Trick-or-Treating With Friends Should:
- Go in a group and stay together the entire time
- Know their planned route and stick to it
- Know their curfew for returning home
- Avoid trick-or-treating at dark houses
- Carry a cell phone that has your number programmed into it
Extra Tip: To encourage your kids to return home early and safe, have a little trick-or-treating “after-party” at your house with their friends. Your kids can help you plan by putting together a Halloween playlist and some spooky activities—pumpkin bowling, mummy wrapping or a Dracula dance party, anyone?
Safety Tips for All Kids:
Whether your kid is a preschooler or a teenager, it’s always a great idea to go over some trick-or-treating “rules” so they can enjoy the frightful festivities while staying safe.
- Stay on lit sidewalks at all times to remain visible.
- Walk from house to house (don’t run!).
- Cross streets at crosswalks.
- Carry flashlights—and check that the batteries work. Younger kids may also enjoy wearing glow sticks for extra flair.
- Trick-or-treat in your neighborhood and at the homes of people you know.
3. Inspect the Candy
No matter how old your kids are, it’s important to establish and maintain a “no eating candy until an adult has inspected it” rule. Even if you have teenagers who have been hearing this rule for years, reiterate it—they’ll be less likely to sneak a piece before you’ve checked it!
- Help your kids check all treats to make sure they’re completely sealed. Discard anything not entirely wrapped, any package with tears or holes, or homemade treats from someone you don’t know. You can make candy inspection more engaging for your kids by making a game out of it! For example, for every so many pieces inspected (you get to determine this number!), they get to eat one.
- If your child has a nut allergy or any other food allergies, carefully check all treats to ensure they’re safe for him or her to eat. If your child is under 4, remove any potential hazards like popcorn, gum or hard candy from their candy pile.
Extra Tip: Set an example and raise awareness of food allergies in your neighborhood by giving out non-food trinkets and toys. Kids always love ghostly stickers, vampire fangs and bouncy eyeballs! Check out the Teal Pumpkin Project for ideas and to learn more.
As parents, we can make Halloween a fun, safe and memorable day for our kids. Keep the above safety tips in mind when preparing to celebrate, and your little ghouls and goblins will be happy trick-or-treaters—and you’ll get to relax and enjoy the holiday too!