Whether you’re sending out a batch of witches and zombies on Halloween night or just giving out treats at home, here are a few tips to keep Halloween scary, fun and safe at same time.
- Ideally, a responsible adult should always accompany children while trick-or-treating. At the very least, older children should go in groups. Remind them to stay together.
- Know what route the children will be taking and set a time for them to return home. Make sure they have a cell phone.
- Remind children not to cut through alleys, yards and fields; to use crosswalks where possible; and never assume oncoming cars can see them.
- It’s a good idea to have children carry a flashlight or glow stick, or put reflective tape on their costumes to make them more visible to drivers.
- Teach children to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car.
- Remind the kids not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. (Having a snack or small meal before trick-or-treating will reduce hunger and the desire to dig in to the candy.)
- If you’re welcoming the neighborhood ghosts and goblins, it’s important to keep your walkway and doorway safe for little ones. Approach your home from the street, keeping in mind what the trick-or-treaters will see. Are the porch lights clean, and are all the bulbs working? Are any open flames in jack o’lanterns and luminaries set away from any areas where children will be walking or standing? (Alternatively, use flameless candles which are now widely available at drug and discount stores.) Are there any extension cords or wires in the way? Is the doorway clear of obstacles? Make any adjustments as needed.
- Don’t forget about your pets. A constantly ringing doorbell and shouts of “trick or treat!” may be very frightening to your dog or cat or other pets. Plus, you would not want your pet escaping through the frequently-opened front door, or possibly even biting a child. So, set up a room for pets and keep them behind closed doors during trick-or-treating hours. Have food, water, a toy or two and a litter box if needed and check on your pets periodically.
With these precautions taken, all you need is bowl of candy to have a truly happy Halloween!