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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

15 Trick-Or-Treating Safety Tips for a Happy, Healthy Halloween

Photo by Tzuhsun Hsu (Flickr)

Trick-or-treat night is an event my girls anticipate all year. They spend months crafting the perfect DIY costumes and dream about all the candy they'll get. Halloween can be dangerous for kids, though. That's why my family implements 15 safety tips as we enjoy a happy and healthy evening.

Wear a Costume That Fits

One year, my daughter wore a princess gown that was too long. She tripped several times, and we learned a valuable lesson. Now, we try on costumes and make any alterations before trick-or-treat night.

Choose Safe Accessories

Some costumes need accessories like flowing wigs, long swords, or oversized shoes. We can keep our kids safe with accessories that fit properly, are flame-resistant, don't have sharp points, and are free of other hazards.

Ensure Visibility

I'm a big fan of masks. This costume element can make or break trick-or-treating! However, we always pick masks with enlarged eye, nose, and mouth openings so my girls can see clearly as they walk around town.

Apply Safe Face Paint and Makeup

Face paint and makeup can be a safe alternative to masks, since they don't hinder visibility. I always look for nontoxic face paint and makeup and test a small amount on my girls' wrists to ensure they aren't allergic. We also remove all face paint and makeup before bed.

Wear Reflective Elements

Reflective tape makes our kids more visible to other Halloween celebrants and drivers during nighttime trick-or-treating. For this reason, we add reflectors to our costumes, shoes, and candy pails.

Carry a Flashlight

A flashlight is a mandatory costume accessory for my girls. They rely on their flashlights any time they can't see clearly.

Be Smart When Using Electronic Devices

My kids carry a cellphone for emergencies or to take cute pictures with their friends. But they know that their phones stay in their pockets as they walk so they don't get distracted and trip or fall.

Visit Well-Lit Houses

To make sure my kids can see where they're walking and are seen by others, I instruct them to only visit houses with well-lit sidewalks, paths, stairs, and porches.

Remain on the Sidewalk

Every year, I see excited trick-or-treaters walk on private lawns or even dart into the street. I tell my girls to stay on the sidewalk where they'll be safe.

Pay Attention

Instead of checking out their candy baskets or looking around, I encourage my girls to pay attention to their surroundings. I want them to avoid obstacles and hazards throughout the evening.

Cross the Street Properly

To maximize their candy haul, my girls sometimes zigzag across the street. Before Halloween, we practice using crosswalks. My girls know they should wait for the walk signal and look both ways before they cross the street.

Avoid Strangers

I know my girls will encounter strangers as they celebrate Halloween, but they also exercise caution. They only walk with kids or adults they know and never go into anyone's home or accept rides from strangers.

Stay Alert for Cars

The excitement of trick-or-treating can cause kids to act in unpredictable ways. They must remain alert and watch out for cars as they navigate busy neighborhoods on Halloween.

Provide Adequate Supervision

For years, my girls begged me to let them trick-or-treat with friends instead of with me. I insisted that they wait for group trick-or-treating until they turned 12 and then stay in well-lit and familiar areas to improve safety as they have fun.

Check Candy Carefully

I'm usually a trusting person, but I know the realities of our day and age. That's why I instruct my girls to let me inspect their candy before they eat even one piece. I toss anything that's homemade, unwrapped, or unsealed and remove any candy that's a choking hazard.

This year, my girls are as excited as ever about trick-or-treating. We'll follow these 15 safety tips to ensure the evening is happy and safe. How do you keep Halloween safe for your kids?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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