How to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween

By Carolina Boyd

Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year for children.  From candy to costumes to trick-or-treating, there is a lot to entertain but also possibly harm your little ghosts and goblins. But don’t fright, there are plenty of things parents can do to keep this holiday from becoming a scary one. We have some helpful suggestions.

Choosing the Perfect Costume

When deciding on a costume for your child, it is important to make sure it fits well. To prevent tripping, hems should not drag on the ground. Dark colors are harder to see at night, so dress up your kids in bright costumes with reflective accessories, like glow sticks or tape. Wearing a mask can block your little goblin’s vision, opt for non-toxic face paint or makeup instead. October is also a time of changing weather. Keep an eye on the forecast to make sure your child won’t be too cold or hot.

Trick-or-Treating Safety

Children under the age of 12 should always travel with an adult when trick-or-treating. It is recommended that older kids travel in groups and stick to familiar areas that are well-lit.  To prevent getting lost, it is a good idea to carry a cellphone. Regardless of age, kids should only visit homes that have porch lights on and never enter a stranger’s house.

Halloween Night Road Rules

Night time makes it tougher for drivers to see trick-or-treaters. Kids should cross the street at corners, utilizing traffic signals and crosswalks; never assuming that vehicles will stop.  If possible, it is safer to walk on sidewalks. Where there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left of the road as possible. Many neighborhoods have earlier hours for younger children. Find out if yours does. If you are driving your trick-or-treaters around, drive slowly and be extra alert during the prime hours of 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm for other children.

All Treats and No Tricks

It’s a good idea to examine all treats after a busy night of trick-or-treating. Toss out any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.  Don’t let young children have hard candy or gum that could cause choking. Also, if you have a child with any serious food allergy or sensitivity, closely read any unfamiliar labels before handing over the treats.

Options to Trick or Treating

Many organizations such as community centers, schools, churches and synagogues, and even some neighborhoods offer options to traditional trick or treating, such as parties or “trunk or treat” events. You may want to check in with organizations – as well as local newspapers, bulletins and social media pages – to find options near you.

Have a safe and frightfully good Halloween!