In addition to adult supervision, here are more ways to help keep your children safe and secure on Halloween.
When purchasing your child’s costume, check the label to be sure it is flame resistant, which means it should resist burning and extinguish quickly. If you’re making their costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester. To help minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes that are loose or baggy. For added precaution, check the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission website for Halloween costume recalls.
To help prevent trips and falls, be sure your child’s costume and shoes fit properly. Have them try on their costume several days before Halloween so you have time to make necessary adjustments. If their costume includes an accessory such as a sword or knife, it should be soft and have a blunt end.
Opt for face paint instead of a mask, which can obstruct your child’s vision. Buy nontoxic face paint or make homemade paint with your child. Test the paint on your child’s face several days before Halloween to be sure it won’t trigger an allergic reaction.
Add a few pieces of reflective tape to your child’s costume and trick-or-treat bag to increase their visibility. Glowing bracelets or necklaces can also help your child be seen, but keep them away from babies as they may be tempted to chew on them.
Talk to your child about what they should do if they get lost. For extra precaution, consider having your child wear a GPS tracking device or a Halloween safety tattoo.
Trick-or-treating generates a lot of excitement, which means your kids may forget the basic pedestrian safety rules you’ve taught them. Before your night begins, remind them to stay on sidewalks, never dart into the street from between parked cars, and walk, not run, from house to house.
You should be sure to carry a flashlight with new batteries. Depending on their age, you may also want to provide your child with their own flashlight. If you do, choose one that’s labeled child-safe.
Caution your kids against eating goodies before you’ve had a chance to approve them, and only okay candy that is in its original wrapper. Be mindful of any food allergies your child may have, and never allow your little one to eat a treat that poses a choking hazard. Hard candy tops the list of foods that most often send kids to the emergency room. Have safe treats or inexpensive toys on hand to trade your child for their dangerous candy.
To help avoid post trick-or-treating belly aches and tantrums, have your child eat a good meal before the night begins and discuss how many pieces of candy they’ll be allowed to eat.
Consider downloading a crime mapping app like CrimeReports to learn what crime is taking place in your community and find out where registered sex offenders live. Use this information to help your child plan their trick-or-treat route and discuss any off-limit areas or homes.
Before they leave home, be sure your child has their cell phone and establish how often they should check in with you. Tell them to call you immediately if the plans they’ve discussed with you change. You should also talk about “what ifs.” For example, you might ask your child what they will do if someone offers them alcohol or drugs at a party, or if a stranger invites them into their home while they’re trick-or-treating.