5 Tips for a Fun and Safe Halloween Trick-or-Treating with Young Children

By John Rose, October 30, 2014, Events & Fun

5 Tips for a Fun and Safe Halloween Trick-or-Treaking with Young ChildrenI have to confess: Halloween is a holiday I totally live vicariously through my son. This also extends to the hordes of happy neighborhood kids who line the streets hoping for a not-so-subtle sugar buzz by 9:30 pm on October 31st – much to the chagrin of parents trying to get their kids off to bed. In spite of my gleeful reminiscence of childhood past, I am now the “Dad” in the equation, so it is my sworn duty to make sure the night goes off without a hitch for all of the kids in our party, which means safety is a priority.

Every Halloween, local news stations try to entice you to watch with teasers like, “Is your child at risk during trick-or-treating?” Honestly, I just don’t think they can help themselves. Sure, dangers exist, but with a little common sense and some preparation, you can make this a great holiday for child and parent alike. Here are 5 tips to keep Halloween fun and safe for your little trick-or-treaters:

1) Have a Game Plan.

The key to any good time with a young child is to go prepared. To avoid getting lost and to maximize the goodies, make sure you have a route mapped out, and for those really little ones, consider closed venues like churches, schools, colleges, and community centers. Also, keep it time appropriate for their age – 9:30 pm trick-or-treating for a 2-year-old may leave both parent and child cranky by the end of the excursion.

5 Tips for a Fun and Safe Halloween Trick-or-Treaking with Young Children2) Pay Attention to the Costume.

When I was young, we had elaborate costumes with big masks and pointy props. Of course, we also had swing sets on concrete, so when you fell off you had quite a nasty bruise on your head – but the point is that times have changed for the better. For a safe and enjoyable night, ditch the masks in favor of hats and face paint, and keep costumes short and manageable. To avoid the risk of fire, avoid costumes with long, dangling fabric strips (mummy costumes made of toilet paper are a distinct “No” – especially around the jack-o-lanterns). Lastly, if your little one used face paint or hair color, make sure to wash it all off before bedtime.

3) Remember – Most Neighborhood Trick-or-Treating Happens After Dark.

First and foremost, make sure that there is a responsible adult with each group of kids. Second, make sure your kids are visible by affixing reflective tape to their costumes and give them flashlights to help them avoid obstacles in the dark. Drivers may have a hard time seeing little ones, so make sure that they see you by signaling with your flashlight, and keep an eye on your kids as they approach the street.

4) Check the Candy!

After the evening is through, make sure to examine ALL of your children’s candy. Dispose of any opened or handmade treats, as well as treats not in their original packaging.

5) Pay Attention!

Lastly, if you are driving that evening, make sure to remain slow, stay off of your cell phone, and keep a watchful eye out for other little kids that will be out that evening.

With some simple common sense, Halloween can be a safe, fun, and amazing holiday for everyone – especially your young children.

And if, by any chance, you have any Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups left over at the end of the night, please feel free to send them my way!

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