It is almost time for trick or treating and that means making sure our kiddos are safe! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, however we have to remember that times have changed. We need to be a little more cautious when it comes to traipsing around in the dark. Especially when you are walking up to stranger’s homes and eating the free poison they give you (A teacher I once had would call candy poison. I thought it was fitting).
Halloween brings out the extra crazy in the crazy people. You never know who people really are even though they may have looked harmless watering their lawn yesterday. I once had a nurse who used to be in corrections tell me that some of the most charming inmates were the serial killers that were on death row. You may be thinking that I am being a little extreme here, but as an ER nurse I have seen the extreme, and will never underestimate someone when it comes to the safety of my babies.
So let’s be safe and protect our little’s. Check out my ultimate safety guide for trick or treating below. You will be glad you were prepared!
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Safety tips for costumes:
- Stay away from masks: You might laugh at this thinking, “how am I going to tell my son he can’t wear his iron man mask?” The big reason why is that it can impair your child’s vision which is a perfect recipe for falls or getting run over. Use face paint instead. If you can’t go without a mask and face paint isn’t an option, then make sure the mask is a good fit with large eye holes so your child’s vision is not impaired.
- Lose the decorative contact lenses: These can cause pain, inflammation, and infection. Not only that, but they can be hard to see out of as well (see tip number 1).
- Make sure costumes fit: Let’s face it guys our children are clumsy. My daughter loves to climb on everything and her favorite thing right now is jumping off the curb onto the street. Add on a princess dress that is too long in the dark of night and you have a recipe for falls. No thank you!
- Choose bright colors: If you have an option between two costumes, go with the lighter color or one with bright accents. If this isn’t feasible then wear glow sticks, reflective tape, and bring flashlights.
- Wear contact info or identity bracelet: This is mainly for placed that are crowded such as Halloween festivals or big city Halloween events where a child could get lost in the crowd. If your child gets lost (lets pray a decent human being finds them) then your contact info will come in handy. Also, if your child is old enough have them memorize your phone number and when to call 911.
- Make sure costume is flame resistant: I know there are a lot of chemicals on clothing that is flame resistant, but the last thing you need is for your child’s wig to catch fire while bending over a lit pumpkin.
- Say no to long and sharp weapons: Make sure swords, knives; sticks, or weapons of any kind are not sharp or long. If your child trips and falls these objects could injure them. If you must have them, best leave them at home while trick or treating.
Safety Tips for Trick or Treating:
- Trick or Treat early: Try and get most of your trick or treating done before it gets dark out. The best time to trick or treat is from 5:30 to 9:30! Plan for an early dinner and then hit the pavement at dusk.
- Make sure your kids know traffic safety rules: Use sidewalks, crosswalks, walkways, and the farthest side of the road facing traffic. Always watch for cars backing up in driveways, no running between two vehicles, and look both ways before crossing the street.
- Always walk, no running. Period!
- Trick or Treat in neighborhoods that you know or are familiar with: If you live in an area where everybody keeps to themselves and hides when the doorbell rings, then only go to homes with lights on and are decorated for the holiday. If your neighborhood is not safe, try looking for trick or treating events held by the city, town, or at malls, and schools to provide a safe option for your kids.
- Warn your children ahead of time not to enter anybody’s home and to say no to strangers: Especially if your kids are old enough to trick or treat without you. Picture this, a nice looking adult driving around offering kids candy if they get inside their vehicle!! It happens! Educate!
- Go over the route: If your children are old enough to go with a group of friends. Go over the route together that they will take and set a time for them to be home/check in with you.
- Avoid Trick or Treating alone: I don’t care if you live in the safest neighborhood in the world, you should not be outside, at night, by yourself, knocking on people’s doors. My children will never go without an adult and will always go in a group. Where we live, kids that are old enough to trick or treat on their own, don’t go trick or treating anymore. They go to parties instead (that is a whole other can of worms that we won’t open just yet).
- Don’t walk near lit candles or luminaries: You don’t need a trip to the ER because someone’s clothes caught on fire. However, if this does happen please, stop, drop, and roll. Smother the flames and put it out as soon as you can. Then seek medical advice or call an ambulance if needed.
- Notify law enforcement of any sketchy activity.
- Stay in well-lit areas with street lamps: No ally ways, dark streets, or cul-de-sacs with no lights.
- Stay off electrical devices until trick or treating is over: I know there is a big cell phone epidemic right now and that we are all glued to our phones; but its best to pay attention to your surroundings and make sure your kids don’t get hit by a car, lost, or taken.
- Drive Safely: Adults drive slowly in neighborhoods and when pulling in/out of driveways. Have your headlights on earlier in the evening to help spot children that are out trick or treating. Take extra time to look for children at intersections, crosswalks, curbs, and in the street.
Safety tips for eating candy from strangers:
- Check Candy BEFORE eating: What’s the best way for a serial killer to murder a bunch of kids? Lace candy with a deathly poison and hand it out to the kids walking right up to your front door. If not poison then how about crystal meth, ecstasy, or cocaine? These drugs can be fatal when ingested by children and sometimes even adults Have a rule that you can’t eat any candy until you get home and a responsible adult checks it. If your child can’t wait to eat it before getting home, take some candy with you while trick or treating that you have bought and know is safe.
- How we check Halloween candy:
- Dump your child’s candy on the counter or floor and inspect under a bright light. Put the ones that you decide are ok to eat back in the child’s candy bag and the ones that are not in the trash.
- Look for rips, punctures, lumps, discoloration, and loose wrapping
- Throw away anything that is homemade, not in its original packaging, or a brand you’ve never heard of.
- Nothing past its expiration date
- Best to toss any choking hazards as well
- Notify the police if you find anything suspicious
- If you just aren’t sure…when in doubt, toss it out!
I hope these tips help! If you have a great tip that I have missed, please let everybody know and comment below.
Have a fun and safe Halloween!!