Trick or Treating Safety Tips
How to Have a Safe and Fun Halloween
You want your children to have fun on Halloween but you also want them to be safe. I have learned plenty over the years about how to be safe and still have fun while trick or treating. I have experience as both a trick or treater and as the person taking them around the neighborhood.
I learned from both experiences some things that work and some things to avoid. I have tips for the costumes they are wearing, inspecting candy, and what to bring with you to make it easier for them and you.
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Trick or Treat With a Group of Friends
If you want your child to have fun, arrange for them to go trick or treating with a group of friends. When I was a kid this was easy. There were plenty of kids on our street and we all went together. We had a great time hanging out together and being as loud as possible when knocking on all the doors. My dad and a couple of the other fathers walked around with us to make sure we were all safe, and they could enjoy talking to each other.
When I was an older teenager my aunt and uncle asked me to be the one to take my nephew around trick or treating since they were busy that night. This is when I learned how important it is to go with a group. While I tried to make it fun for my nephew during the walk, it just isn't the same when you have to go up to a strangers door all by yourself. He was ready to go home after about an hour. When we were kids, our group would have kept going until sunrise if they would have let us.
However for this generation my niece had it a little harder. There weren't any other kids on her street. So my sister invited my nieces friends and some of their mothers over to go trick or treating together in our neighborhood. When they arrived, my sister gave them all glow stick necklaces to wear. The kids loved them because they thought they looked cool. The mothers were happy because they knew it would help with visibility. They all enjoyed it so much they continued the tradition of going out for Halloween together until they became too old for it.
Glow Stick Necklaces To Increase Visibility
These were the glow stick that my sister bought for the kids. The strings are included so that they can be worn as necklaces.
Once they are broke open they will keep glowing for 8-12 hours which will easily get you through trick or treating. They also have a shelf life of 2 years, so you will be able to use them next year as well.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a Halloween costume. How long is it? Does it have a mask? Plus if you live in a colder climate you have to consider how warm is the costume or does it have enough room to put a coat underneath it?
You can let your child be whatever they want for Halloween but I highly advise you to avoid choosing a costume with a mask. One year I had to wear a mask that came with my C3PO costume. While I loved being a character from Star Wars and I thought the costume looked cool, I really grew to hate that mask.
After I was walking around for awhile it got hot wearing it. It made it difficult to breathe or see very well with the tiny mouth hole and eye holes on that mask. I just wanted to take it off put then what kind of a costume would that have been? I should have painted my face to look like C3PO instead, it would have been a much more enjoyable of an experience. If you are going to use face paint/make up I suggest you test it on a small patch of skin ahead of time. You do not want your child to have an allergic reaction, that night, once it has been fully applied.
What I learned from my sisters experience is to think about the length of the costume. If your child wants to be a Disney Princess or a Fairy Godmother (like my sister) be careful with how long the dress is. My sister was so happy with how great her costume looked, but not so happy when she tripped because of it. Nor did she enjoy having to hold it up while she walked around to avoid tripping again. So when you buy a costume try it on see how it is for length and hem the length to avoid a tripping hazard.
If you live in a colder climate like I do, Halloween can sometimes be very cold (we even had snow once). So you will want to think about if your child will be warm enough wearing the costume that you chose. What I recommend is buying a costume that is slightly larger so that you can put on an extra sweater or a coat on underneath the costume.
What to Use to Carry the Candy
I loved my plastic pumpkin bucket when I was a kid. We would fill it maybe halfway and then we would empty it into a bag that my father carried. This made for a lot less heavy lifting for us. However our dads all ended up with very heavy bags by the end of the night. I would recommend for the parents to take a backpack so they don't get tired carry all the candy.
This was what we carried around to collect the candy in. They are made of a sturdy plastic so they will last for all of your kids trick or treating years. Then later you can use it to hold the candy that you give out at your door.
This is a great back pack for the parent to transfer the candy into. Plus it can be used for school or when you travel.
Inspect the Candy
We never got to eat any candy while we were trick or treating. All of the candy was brought home and then inspected by my mom before we got to eat any of it. She would check that the candy was still in its original packaging. Plus she would make sure that it wasn't opened and that it hadn't been tampered with.
To prevent any snacking on the candy our parents always made sure we had a good meal before we left. If you need to, you could also bring some snacks from home to give to them. If you live in a warmer climate you may want to bring some water to help keep them hydrated.