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Top 10 Tips for Trick-or-Treat Safety

Updated on October 6, 2010

Use these tips to help your little goblins have a great time on Halloween night!

  1. No One Goes Alone - Children under twelve need to have a parent or other responsible adult with them, even if it's just following in a car. Older kids may have earned the right to trick-or-treat sans mom and dad, but they should employ the buddy system. There's no reason for kids to be alone outside at night. Older kids out without adult supervision should stick to a familiar, established route so that at any given time parents know where to find them. Enlist your support network to help you keep tabs on kids throughout the evening.
  2. Eat No Candy - What? Don't eat the candy? Where's the fun in that? Make sure kids know that ALL treats must be inspected before they may eat. That means no sneaking Snickers between houses. Sell it this way: they'll get more candy if they're focused on the goal and not digging around their treat bags for their favorites. Giving kids something to eat before they go combats the I'm hungry excuse.
  3. Make Sure Costumes Fit Properly - Tripping and falling is the main cause of injury on Halloween. Make sure kids' costumes fit properly and that they are able to move freely in them. Safety pins can be your best friend. It's not a bad idea to do a trial run with a friendly neighbor to make sure kids are able to navigate sidewalks and steps before the big night. Don't forget about shoes. Kids may want to wear costume appropriate shoes that are not foot-friendly, but cute shoes may lead to injury. Comfy shoes decrease the chances of injury as well as your carrying a small child for several blocks!
  4. Plan Before Halloween - Children are too excited on Halloween night to listen to you. What could you say that is more important than escaping to collect a sack full of sugar? Talk to kids about safety as well as your expectations well before Halloween. Every time the topic of costumes or candy comes up, slip in a safety tip. Just don't overdo it or kids will tune you out.
  5. Stay Out of the Street - It seems obvious, but when all those kids get together in costume you're dealing with a mob mentality. Keep kids relatively calm and under control with periodic reminders to keep on the sidewalk.
  6. Light Up - There are inexpensive glow sticks in the grocery stores this time of year, but a flashlight is nice too. Light up shoes are adorable and little kids love them. If everybody sheds a little light, together they're sure to be seen.
  7. Plan For the Weather - Depending on where you live it may be very chilly or quite warm on Halloween night. Make costumes warmer for cool climates by layering thermals underneath. Keep kids hydrated in warmer areas.
  8. Beware of Pets - Even dogs that are in costume and out walking with their families may not be friendly to strangers. Pets who come to the door may not be as happy to see your little trick-or-treater as he is to see them. Remind kids not to approach unfamiliar animals.
  9. Potty First - Help kids avoid the discomfort of a full bladder and the temptation to use the bathroom in a stranger's house by making them potty before going out.
  10. Leave the Healies at Home -Healies, or wheeled shoes, are popular and they're sending kids to emergency rooms in record numbers. Don't exacerbate Halloween's danger of crowds and darkness with these fun but dangerous shoes.

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