- Holidays and Celebrations
Halloween Trick or Treating Tips
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, but for the past several years, I haven't really celebrated. My Aunt Sue usually hosts a trick or treat get together in her front yard for all the neighborhood kids. She gets a lot of help from her church and they cook some delicious food and offer candy and other small treats to the kids.
Now that I have a child of my own, I have a different outlook on things and safety is usually the first issue. So I've put together a helpful Hub on different tips and information to ensure a healthy, happy, and SAFE Halloween!
*Image credit goes to Izapmen
Trick or Treating Safely
- Children should always be accompanied by an adult when trick or treating.
- Most towns have a set start and end time for trick or treating. Be sure to go during this time and not before or after. Neighbors probably won't start handing out candy too early and they certainly won't do it late. They may even get suspicious if you're not within the time slot.
- If you have children between the ages of 12 and 17 and they insist on going by themselves or with a group of friends, make sure they are going with responsible friends. Also, it's a good idea for them to have a cellphone or another easy way to keep in contact with them.
- DO NOT let your children eat any candy until you or another responsible adult has checked everything over. I know it's a horrible thing to think about, but there are some crazies out there and it's possible for them to sabotage your candy! If anything is opened or unwrapped, throw it out. Homemade treats are probably safe but I would still only eat them if you know who made them.
- Let your children know that it is never okay to go into a stranger's home or get into their vehicle! If a stranger seems pleasant enough and invited them inside, tell them to politely say no or explain that their parents said not to go into anyone's home. Really, there is no reason for them to go inside anyway.
- Be sure to give them a flashlight, glowsticks, or put adhesive reflectors on their costumes. This will ensure that other trick or treaters and drivers can see them in the dark.
- Make sure the costume fits properly and doesn't have any long, dangling parts that children could trip over. Ask your children if the costume is comfortable enough to be worn for a few hours or longer. Kids hate wearing uncomfortable clothing!
- If the costume comes with some sort of weapong or prop (such as a sword, wand, or gun) be sure that it is made of a flexible material and won't actually hurt anyone if used playfully or if someone stumbles on it.
- Also be sure that the costume is made of a flame retardant material. It will usually say on the tag what it's made from.
- Pre-test any makeup that will be worn a few days prior to trick or treating. Apply a small amount to their arm and keep it there for an hour or so. This ensures that they are not allergic to the makeup. If redness, swelling, itching, or a rash appears it is probably an allergic reaction and should be looked at by a doctor.
General Halloween Safety Tips
- Always look both ways before crossing the street! Most drivers will drive slower than usual and be on the look out for trick or treaters, but you can never be too safe. There are some crazy drivers out there who just don't care!
- Do not toilet paper someone's home, egg their cars, or vandalize their property in any way! It is illegal and you could get into a lot of trouble if you're caught. Not to mention, it's just plain rude and I'm sure you wouldn't want someone vandalizing your things.
- If you're old enough to drive and you can legally do so, be sure that you have plenty of gas to get around the neighborhood or to get to the costume party. Drive more carefully than you normally would and NEVER leave small children unattended.
Halloween Safety Products
- Flashlights, of course. Anything that produces light or can be seen in the dark is always a good idea. Glowsticks, reflective tape, adhesive reflectors, or flashing costumes or props are other good ideas.
- Cellphones are the easiest way to get ahold of family members and friends if you get away from each other. Also, if you have teenage children who insist on going out by themselves, cellphones are always a good idea because you can contact them at any time to make sure they're safe.
- If you want to take a bit more drastic safety measure, you can get I.D. bracelets with the child's information on them. Information such as name, date of birth, phone number, address, emergency contact number, and blood type. Of course, not all of this information will fit on a bracelet so just choose the most important things to list on it.
- There are crazy people out there no matter where you live or travel, so it's a good idea to have your kids carry something that can make a loud noise if they are approached by a suspicious stranger. The noise will alert others who may be nearby and can also scare the stranger away.
*Image credit goes to MariaAndTom