Halloween Safety: Trick-or-Treating Tips for Kids of All Ages
Every year, as parents prepare for Halloween festivities and trick or treat nights, there are many things to think about. As you prepare for the fun, make sure you are also preparing for a safe time for you and your children. Halloween is sure to create memories, and we want to help you ensure they are all safe memories.
Common Trick or Treat Safety Hazards
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the risk of children being hit by a car is higher on Halloween nights than on any other night of the year. With crowds, evening/nighttime darkness, and moving across streets, it is important to be vigilant in road safety. Trips and falls are another cause of injury for children during trick or treat, so assessing your child’s costume is vital. Lastly, fire injuries can happen during the Halloween season due to the usage of Jack-o’-lanterns or other sidewalk and porch lights that may contain an open flame.
Safety Tips for Halloween Trick-or-Treating
When preparing for making a safe Halloween for kids, you want to consider lighting, costume fit, candy, groups, routes, fears and more. We will break down each category and give you trick or treat safety tips for kids you can use this year to make it the best and safest family fun night.
Many Halloween activities take place in the evening time. This means you must consider lighting and how to remain visible. Include your costume, props, and settings when it comes to lighting.
- Use flashlights and glow sticks as props to help add to costumes and create extra lighting safety.
- Place reflective tape and stickers on costumes, backpacks, strollers, etc. to make them visible to cars and others.
- Stay on lit streets and street crossings.
Choose a safe costume
When choosing a costume for your child and yourself, choose items that are well-fitting. While having a costume that is cute is important, not at the cost of your child or yourself getting injured in the process.
- Avoid costumes for your kids that are too big, baggy or drag across the ground. These can create tripping hazards.
- Ensure that the shoes your child is wearing are comfortable and easy to walk in.
- Choose a costume that is flame-retardant. If you are making the costume, use fabrics like nylon and polyester, which are naturally flame-retardant.
Trick-or-Treat Emergency Plans
Always be prepared with an emergency plan to ensure a safe Halloween and trick or treat with kids. Make sure there is a way for you to be notified if you get separated from your child. This will look different based on the age of your child.
For Younger Children
For trick or treat safety with young children, you want to ensure they are always visible and that there is a way to easily contact you should you be separated.
- For the youngest children have a wristband or necklace with your name and an emergency contact number.
- For children who can communicate clearly, practice with them stating your name, phone number, and other contact information.
- Go in a group. When walking with others (partner, friend, etc.) have one adult at all times that is designated phone-free. This means someone is not taking pictures, videos, texting, etc., and able to keep both eyes on the children.
For Older Children
When discussing safety with older children, you want to ensure they understand agreed boundaries and that you can easily access them if needed.
- Map out an approved route so that you know where they are throughout their trip. You can also use a phone app to keep track of where they are.
- Discuss strangers and encourage your child to trust his gut feelings and avoid uncomfortable situations.
- Get the phone number of one of your child’s friends who will be sticking with him through their trick or treat event. This ensures that in the case of a lost phone, dead battery, etc., you can reach your child.
Check your child’s candy
Gathering candy during trick or treat can be thrilling. It is also a time for parents to be vigilant about choking hazards and broken seals.
- Set an expectation about when candy can be eaten and what needs to be inspected beforehand.
- Check your child’s candy for any choking hazards and only provide age-appropriate options.
- Scan candy for any open packages or broken seals. Discard candy that is not fully wrapped.
Be mindful of age-appropriate fear levels
You want Halloween for kids to be safe, fun, and a good memory for everyone. To do this, make sure you evaluate the fear threshold for each child involved.
- If you are using costumes with masks and coverings, play with younger children to show the person behind the costume and make sure they know you are there with them.
- Talk to your child of any age about things that are make-believe and the spirit of Halloween.
- Don’t push your child to sit by something, play with something, etc. that creates a heightened fear. The funny reaction or picture is not worth your child feeling unsafe.
How to Be a Safe Trick-or-Treat Host
Sometimes staying in and welcoming trick or treating families is just as fun as being out. This is still a great time to dress up and interact with the families in your community. If you are opting to enjoy Halloween with kids from your own home, use these tips to be a safe host.
- Have a well-lit driveway, walking path, and porch. Make it easy for families to find you and your treats! However, opt for flameless lights to cut down on fire hazards.
- Be mindful of allergies and offer alternatives to candy. Great alternatives can include dried fruit, coloring books, crayons, pencils, erasers, crafts.
- Ensure your pets are out of reach. Even if you have very friendly pets, costumes, running and excitement can make any pet react or draw an unfamiliar child to your pet. Protect everyone by having your pet in a place everyone can safely enjoy the night.
Everyone deserves a safe Halloween. Following these tips for trick or treat and Halloween safety can allow your family to have a fun time together and enjoy the Halloween spirit. Here at Zulily, we are looking forward to helping your whole family look great and have a great Halloween.