It’s that time of year again: Halloween! It’s always a fun night- people in creative costumes, highly decorated houses, and pumpkin-flavored everything.

But there’s that “trick” element to the night of Trick or Treat. There are stories every year of older people scaring younger kids, snacks that are unsafe, and thieves who come to empty houses because they know people are out trick-or-treating.

There are some easy steps you can take to help yourself and your kids have an excellent time on Halloween when you go trick-or-treating.

 

      Make Your Costume Safe 

  • Costumes should be comfortable and fit well: no long hems that might get tripped on, or shoes that will cause blisters.
  • Add a bright element to costumes, such as neon vest, glow-in-the-dark face paint, or reflective tape.
  • If Halloween looks to be a warm day, don’t wear a costume that requires a lot of layers.
  • Consider the weight of the accessories you or your child will be wearing with the costume and if it is worth carrying that extra weight around.

      Know Where You’re Going

  • Plan the route before going out, and decide on a meet-up spot in case you separate from each other or get lost. Provide maps if you are in an unfamiliar area.
  • For young trick-or-treaters with cell phones, make sure emergency numbers (including an adult’s number and 911) are programmed in the phone and the child knows how to call for help.
  • Little kids should always hold an adult’s hand when crossing streets and going to unfamiliar places. If children are walking ahead of you, give them a flashlight so you can still see them.
  • For older kids going out on their own, be aware of where they are going and when they plan to return.

     Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

  • Be on the lookout for people who might be following you or paying too close attention to your child.
  • Make sure children know what to do if somebody approaches them, whether it be to yell, kick,scream, or run to the nearest adult.
  • If a house is dark, or the blinds are closed, don’t bother the people inside. Do not violate anybody’s property by knocking on the door even if they have indicated they are not handing out treats.

     Only Eat Candy You Know Is Safe

  • If someone is offering unwrapped candy in an open bowl, consider the number of hands that have handled or touched that candy. It’s probably a good idea to avoid that bowl.
  • Similarly, if treats are homemade or you don’t recognize the wrapping, the best course of action is to play it safe and throw it out.
  • Fun fact: If a house has a teal pumpkin on the front steps, the treat handed out there is food allergy-friendly. Learn more here.

This may seem like a long list, but Halloween is a fun holiday with a bad reputation. Everyone should enjoy it in their own way, whether that be at a costume party, trick-or-treating, or handing out candy to neighborhood kids. Be careful and be aware of your surroundings, but don’t forget it’s a night to enjoy. Have fun, and Happy Halloween!