There are very few days in the year that are more exciting to kids than Halloween. It’s a treasure of childhood that creates long-lasting memories, but it can also cause some serious concerns for parents. Following a few simple safety tips can go a long way toward alleviating some of your most pressing trick-or-treat worries.
- Go trick-or-treating with your children! Some children, especially older kids, might be resistant to having their parents tagging along on the big night, but this should be a non-negotiable requirement. If you can’t go with them, make sure another adult you trust will be there. Having a cell phone is not a substitute for bringing an adult.
- Be safe on the roads! Remind your kids that they still have to stay on the sidewalks and look both ways before crossing the street, no matter how excited they are to get to the next house. If they’ll be out after the sun goes down, make sure that everyone is properly equipped with flashlights to watch for hazards, and glowsticks or reflective tape so you can see them in the dark.
- Inspect all the treats! Any homemade treats (popcorn balls, brownies, etc.) should be discarded unless they came from a trusted neighbor. Look carefully at all the store-bought treats to make sure there are no torn or perforated wrappers that might signal that the treat could have been tampered with. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Even if your kids disagree.
- Set reasonable expectations! Before your kids even step out the front door, make sure they know what your expectations are for the hoard of candy they will return home with. Every parent has experienced the tiny tornadoes that kids turn into with too much sugar, so let them know how many pieces they’re allowed to have each day. If they can’t—or won’t—self-regulate, make sure they know you’d be happy to help them with that. It’s also a good idea to make sure they are getting a healthy diet and staying active to help offset the increased sugar intake.
Halloween should always be a time for kids to flex the power of their imaginations and indulge in the magic of childhood. And while it’s unfortunate that parents still have to be protective, a little bit of precaution is a small price to pay for ensuring that nothing spoils the wonderful memories of Halloween for our children.