10 Tips for a Safe Halloween for Kids
Halloween is around the corner. Every year, kids look forward to this holiday so they can wear fun costumes, knock on doors at night and collect candy by shouting “trick or treat!” These can indeed be exciting, but parents should remember to take precautions and teach their kids how to stay safe while celebrating Halloween during these difficult times. Here are a few tips.
- Ask kids to wear face masks. Kids are more vulnerable to some variants of COVID-19, so it’s better to protect them against the virus by giving them face masks.
- Teach kids to practice physical distancing. Another way to avoid acquiring the virus is by maintaining a safe distance from other people. Instruct your kids to stay at least 6 feet apart from others so they won’t get sick.
- Instruct kids to watch out for cars. Did you know that on Halloween, kids are four times more likely to be hit by a car than any other night? Instruct your kids not to walk between cars, to always watch for drivers and to stay close to you (if you’re with them) when crossing the streets.
- Remember, candy contains ingredients that may cause allergies. Hiding in that delicious candy could be wheat, peanuts or milk — sources of severe allergies for many children. Always check the ingredients of a candy before allowing your kid to eat and keep an eye out for candy without ingredients or labels as well.
- Teach your kids to wash their hands often. Keeping their hands clean, especially before eating, after touching frequently touched areas or after having a physical interaction with pets or other people, can help protect them against various types of viruses, bacteria and illnesses.
- Make sure the kids are visible in the dark. Give your kids a flashlight or glow sticks. Use reflective tape to increase the visibility of your kids’ costume. If they resist, you could always make their treat bag extremely reflective or even attach LED lights.
- Make a plan and run through it. If your kids want to go on their own, take time to talk over a plan of “approved” routes through the neighborhood. Make certain they agree to stick with the plan. Outline which neighborhoods they’ll start with, where they’ll go and which neighborhoods to avoid.
- Give them comfortable shoes. The kids will be trekking throughout the neighborhood in the dark, so it’s best to give them comfortable shoes as well as instruct them to watch out for tripping hazards. Be prepared to deal with curbs, potholes, decorations on the ground, etc.
- Look for porch lights. It may come as a surprise to your kids, but not everyone wants to participate in Halloween. Remind them to “trick or treat” at well-lit homes with their porch light on. Teach children that a dark house may mean no one is home, or they may have gone to bed.
- Remind your children that the same stranger danger rules apply. This means they should never go in a stranger’s house, even if they’re handing out candy during Halloween.
The main thing is to talk to your kids about safety out of the home and with strangers. Now is also a good time to talk about eating treats in moderation. (They don’t have to eat the entire bag of candy in one sitting!) Set limits like two pieces of candy a day after a meal or whatever limits that make you feel comfortable.
Most of all, have fun! Happy Halloween!