It's the most "spooktacular" time of the year. That annual ritual when young pirates, princesses, superheroes, mermaids, and other characters venture out into the streets to collect tasty treats from friends and neighbors. But while Halloween can bring joy and excitement to children, it can bring worries to parents about their children's safety. Here are some simple tips to ensure your child enjoys the treats of the season — and stays safe.
- Instruct your children to eat only factory wrapped candy or treats from people they know and trust.
- Carefully examine all the candy and treats for any signs of tampering.
- Read the labels on all candy packaging. This is especially important to parents whose children have dangerous food and other allergies.
- Ensure costumes are flame retardant.
- Do not have your children wear masks or other equipment that obstructs their vision.
- Before applying makeup, be sure to test it on a small section of your child's skin to prevent an allergic reaction.
- Ensure your child's costume is not too long, which could cause them to trip or fall.
- Choose comfortable shoes, such as sneakers. While princess heels may look great, they may cause your child to fall or experience foot pain.
- Make sure your costumes are bright or reflective. Or, purchase reflective tape that can be adhered to any costume.
- Make sure young children are always accompanied by an adult.
- Have children carry flashlights so that they can see and be seen.
- Keep children on sidewalks and instruct them to walk not run.
- Adhere to the trick-or-treat hours your city or town has established.
- Instruct children to stay away from candles and lighted jack-o-lanterns or other decorations that use fire.
- Teach children not to enter any houses without being accompanied by a trusted adult.
- Ensure children only go to houses of people they know.
- If a house is dark, instruct children to stay away.
If you plan on handing out treats, here are some safety rules to ensure the safety of trick or treaters who visit you.
- Turn on outside lights and make a clear path so young visitors can see where they are going.
- Choose healthier, lower calorie snacks.
- Limit the amount of snacks you provide to your young guests.
- Turn out your lights when trick or treating has ended in your city or town or when you run out of candy.
- Treat yourself to more safety tips.
For more helpful tips on keeping children safe, visit the Center for Disease Control or the American Academy of Pediatrics.