There’s a certain magic to trick-or-treating. Kids love dressing up in costume and getting yummy candies from neighbors. Halloween is up there on their list of favorite things, for sure. But trick-or-treating, while super fun, isn’t without its risks. If your kids are going trick-or-treating this year, you need to lay down some ground rules for the Halloween fun. We’ve got some tips to help you keep your kids safe this Halloween.
1. Teach kids how to be careful while walking from house to house.
There are a lot of cars out on Halloween, and it gets dark. It’s important that you tell your kids to walk facing traffic so that they’re easier to see – and so they can see the cars, too. You should also make sure that they know to watch for cars that are backing out of driveways and not to dart out into the street or from in between parked cars.
2. Make sure your kiddos know to be smart while crossing the street.
Your kids need to know to look left, then right, then left again. If it’s possible, they should cross at a crosswalk. If you’re in the neighborhood, though, make sure they know to be very careful while crossing the street and to stay on the sidewalk. If you have older kids with phones, make sure that they know not to walk and look at their phone, or cross the street while looking at their electronics.
3. Give your kids glow sticks and flashlights for trick-or-treating.
Flashlights and glow sticks help drivers see your kids while they’re bouncing from house to house, so equip them with magical light sources. You can also put reflective tape on their costume and treat bags. Part of choosing a safe Halloween costume is making it as visible as possible.
4. Don’t let kids under the age of 12 go out without a grown-up.
Escort younger children as they trick-or-treat. You can even get in on the Halloween fun and get a costume of your own! Why not? For kids over the age of 12 who you trust to trick-or-treat without a parent, make sure that they go in a group. They shouldn’t go alone.
And make sure that they tell you the route that they’re going to take while trick-or-treating so that you know where they’re going to be. They should stick to places that they’re very familiar with, places that you know they know well. You can also agree on a time that they’re going to check in and come home.
5. Only let the kids go to well-lit houses while trick-or-treating.
It’s important that your kids only approach houses with lots of light. People who are expecting trick-or-treaters will typically leave their lights on, which keeps everyone safer. Where there’s light, there’s typically less danger.
6. Teach your kids not to approach any cars or enter any houses.
Teach your kids stranger danger. Remind them not to accept candy from strangers in cars or to go inside anyone’s house. Even if you know you’ve taught your kids not to approach strangers before, it’s a good idea to reinforce it on Halloween. It’s a lesson that can never be stressed enough.
7. Do a candy inspection before letting your kiddos dig in.
Take some time to look over the loot. Check that all of the candy is factory-wrapped and sealed tight. Don’t let your kids eat anything that’s unwrapped or looks homemade, and if anything looks suspicious, toss it. Also, be careful of choking hazards. Make sure your kids don’t have any candy that’s not appropriate for their age in their treat bags.
Trick-or-treating is great fun, and your kids should enjoy it and have a great time. But it’s important that they know how to stay safe while they’re getting their sugary goodness from neighbors. Kids should know to walk on sidewalks facing traffic, look both ways before crossing the street, and not to dart across the street suddenly. They should carry flashlights and glow sticks so that drivers can see them. And they should never eat any candy that’s unwrapped or looks like it’s been tampered with. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to have a super fun – and super safe – Halloween.
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