With all the little ghouls, goblins, superheroes, and princesses preparing for a night of trick-or-treating fun, we thought we’d take the time to share our best tips for staying safe on Halloween night.
Plan your route ahead of time. The excitement of Halloween can wear off quickly when arguments start over which way and how far to go. The length and location of your trick-or-treating route will vary depending on your children’s ages, of course. But it’s always a good idea to have a plan for how far you’ll go and how long you’ll stay out. Remember that little feet and legs can get tired quickly. And once that sugar high wears off, sleepy little ones can slip into meltdown mode at the drop of a witch’s hat.
Stay in well-lit areas. If your neighborhood doesn’t have much in the way of streetlights, make sure to equip everyone in your party with flashlights. Even if you plan to go out before dusk, remember that it gets dark pretty quickly these days. Adding a little reflective tape or clip-on lights to costumes, trick-or-treat bags, and shoes is always helpful as well.
Choose a route with plenty of sidewalks. It’s always safer to stick to the sidewalk than to walk in the street. Not everyone is considerate of or patient with trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, Halloween night is one of those times when less responsible people might be driving under the influence. Anything you can do to avoid walking on neighborhood streets is good! You can never be too careful when it comes to your children’s safety.
Trick-or-treat in groups. It’s always safer to do things in groups, and trick-or-treating is more fun with friends anyway! Adults can chat and have fun while also helping look out for each other’s kiddos. If older kids would rather go out on their own, make sure they’re going with a trusted group of friends who understand and obey rules meant to keep them safe.
Never go inside a stranger’s home. Some Halloween enthusiasts go all out with festive activities and haunted houses. That’s all well and good if you know your neighbors well, but it’s better not to enter a stranger’s home. Make sure children understand that they should only approach houses with lights on, and they should never enter someone else’ home without a parent or guardian.
Make sure costumes fit well. Costumes should be an appropriate length to prevent tripping. Accessories and props should be flexible and soft to help avoid hurting anyone by accident. If anyone is wearing a mask, make sure they can see and breathe well. Use makeup instead of masks if possible.
Wear comfortable shoes. This might be difficult with some costumes—especially for excited kids who want their costumes to look authentic—but good walking shoes or sneakers are the best choice for trick-or-treating. If your child insists on wearing “fancy” shoes with their costume, bring along a pair of tennis shoes for when their feet start to get tired or blistered.
Inspect candy before eating. We know it’s incredibly tempting to sneak a few pieces of candy along the way, but it’s better to wait. Candy should be inspected by a parent or guardian before the kiddos dig in. Only accept pre-wrapped candy from people you don’t know very well, and be sure the wrappers haven’t been tampered with in any way. Homemade treats are lovely, but the sad truth is that there’s no way to be absolutely sure they’re safe to consume. Also take your child’s age into consideration when sorting through their loot; some candies or toys could be choking hazards for small children.