Halloween is fast approaching. No doubt you and your ghosts and goblins are whipping up costumes and readying the trick-or-treat buckets. The goal is for your trick-or-treaters to have fun but be safe while doing it. Help your kids get the most of their Halloween trick-or-treating by following these simple guidelines:
- Don’t set out on an empty stomach. That is a disaster waiting to happen. Eat dinner before you leave to ensure your kids have something healthy in their stomachs, giving them fuel for their candy quest and preventing them from over-indulging on sugar in one evening.
- Know your route ahead of time. Stick to familiar neighborhoods where you know the people. Knowing where you are not only keeps your kids safe but also helps prevent anyone from getting lost.
- How safe is your child’s costume? If a mask is part of the costume, make sure your child can see clearly. Keep the costumes short enough that they don’t become a tripping hazard, but offer enough coverage for warmth. Also, help your child be visible in the dark by placing small reflectors on their costume or provide him or her with a flashlight or glow-in-the-dark wand. As an extra precaution, verify that your child’s costume is flame-retardant as they are sure to come across several homes with candles in pumpkins or spooky flame-lit torches.
- The shoes make the difference. No matter what the costume may be, make sure your child’s shoes are comfortable and sturdy. No one wants their treat-seeking experience to be cut short or hindered by blisters or twisted ankles – or complaints of tired feet!
- Stay together. This tends to be harder for older kids who want to venture off on their own. An easy solution may be following at a safe distance where you can still monitor them, but allowing them some independence with their friends. Or, if you are comfortable with allowing them to go on their own, make sure they have a group and that they stay with that group, as there is safety in numbers and discuss a planned return time.
- Unwrapped candy is inedible. Make this point clear with your child before they head off on their adventure. There is no way to guarantee the safety or cleanliness of any candy that is unwrapped.
- Never ever accept rides from strangers. Even if your child is tired or the stranger has a cool car, they need to know just how dangerous going off with a stranger can be. Also, be sure to caution your child against approaching any vehicles that may stop to offer candy along the way as it may be a way to lure the child, even if they do not plan on actually getting in the vehicle.
- All candy has to pass parental inspection. Discourage your child from eating candy until they get home. (Easier said than done, but it is important.) Unwrapped candy or anything that looks tampered with needs to be thrown out. Look for anything that seems abnormal. Your child’s health and safety is much more important than a candy bar.
- Remind them to say thank you. That may sound silly, but Halloween is a great opportunity to teach them gratitude. They get candy and the candy-givers get appreciation, which is a pretty good trade off!
Be safe and have a fun Halloween. If you have any questions or are looking for pediatric services, please contact us.