Halloween is upon us! Trick-or-treat is many children’s favorite night of the year – and what’s not to love? We sure enjoy seeing all the kiddos decked out in costumes and the spooky decorations in our neighborhoods. Although the night is really spent in a fury trying to collect as much candy as possible, we wanted to bring you a few safety tips to make sure the holiday is enjoyable and everyone returns home safely at the end of the night.
- Costumes – With the sun setting earlier, it is likely that the children will be trick-or-treating through dusk and into the night. Choose costumes that are bright in color or light-reflecting. Make sure all shoes fit properly and are tied correctly before venturing out into the festivities. Masks are probably not a good idea for smaller children as they can obstruct vision – opt for face painting or non-toxic makeup instead!
- Plan Ahead – Younger children should be accompanied by an adult during the evening. However, if you have an older child who plans to trick-or-treat alone or with a group of friends, plan a route ahead of time that is acceptable to you (and that also scores them the most candy). Teach your children ahead of time to never enter a stranger’s home or car and to only approach houses that are well-lit. Throw a flashlight in your child’s bag to be extra prepared!
- Be Aware – If you’re a parent taking your ghouls or goblins where they need to be during the witching hour, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for children on roads, medians, and curbs. Even though we advise to dress in light-reflecting costumes, please be diligent in watching for children in dark clothing or camouflage costumes. Trick-or-treat is not the time to take your student driver practicing around the neighborhood – save that for another evening!
- Make Your Home Safe – If you’re passing out candy from your home for Halloween, make sure your place is trick-or-treating friendly! We advise removing anything from the lawn that will be hard to see in the dark; garden hoses, bikes, scooters, and lawn decorations. Although your pets may be friendly, it would be smart to restrain the animals during this time – the costumes could make them feel uneasy and you never want to put your animals or the children at risk!
- Pumpkin Etiquette – Carving jack-o-lanterns is one of the best parts of Halloween, but you should follow a few safety tips to get the most out of the craft. Small children should never carve pumpkins, especially without adult supervision, opt for glitter paint or marker pens with the little ones and maybe even throw on some googly eyes or unicorn horns. Use a flashlight or even a glowstick inside your pumpkin to give off that spooky aura
,but mitigate the risks that come with an uncontrolled flame.
Now that you’re all prepared, go out there and get that candy! If you’re all candied out and find yourself with a bunch of treats and nothing to do with them, we recommend checking out Soldiers Angels. This sweet organization will ship your donated candy to deployed service members around the world and distribute to veterans in VA Hospitals across the country. This year their goal is to collect 17,000 pounds of candy for our troops and veterans. I’m sure we could meet that goal with your help!