Keep your kids safe this Halloween by making sure they understand some basic safety rules. Discuss these tips with your kids before they head out trick-or-treating so they’ll be sure to make good choices and stay safe.
- Plan the route. Let your kids know ahead of time which streets they are allowed to travel along. Avoid streets with too much traffic, or those that are not well lit. Choose streets that your kids already know so they won’t get lost, and come up with a route ahead of time so you can find your kids if you need to.
- No cutting. Make sure kids know not to cut through parking lots or yards, and not to take the shortcut in-between houses. Only cross the street where there are crosswalks, and never in the middle of the block.
- Be choosy. Tell your kids that they should only go up to houses that have lights on – and preferably lots of them. Not only are dark places more dangerous for kids, people that do not participate in trick-or-treating turn the light off to let you know.
- Check in. For kids that carry a phone, specify times that you would like them to call you to check in to report on their progress and to let you know they are alright. Checking in at home, or with friends and neighbors will help you keep tabs on kids without a phone. Establish a firm time that kids should be home, no matter where they are on their planned route.
- No snacking! Help kids understand the potential dangers of eating treats before an adult can inspect them for safety. Serve a filling meal before everyone heads out for the evening to help curb temptation, and make sure kids know not to accept any drinks or homemade snacks offered from anyone they don’t know.
- Stay out. Your kids should already have this drilled into them as it applies every day, not just on Halloween, but just in case, make sure they understand that they are never, ever, ever to go inside of a stranger’s house or get into anyone’s car. Never.
Tips for Parents
- Costumes. Double check your kids’ costumes to make sure that they can be seen in the dark. Many costumes are mostly or all black, and once the sun sets they become almost invisible. Use reflective tape on bags, shoes, hats, or right on their backs to help increase their visibility, and let them carry flashlights and glow sticks. The dollar stores carry glow-in-the dark products that are perfect for Halloween night – bracelets, necklaces, wands, and other items.
- Drive Safely. Be sure to travel carefully through your neighborhood or on any residential streets. Kids will always want to criss cross the streets, or dart out from behind a car or other object and the sheer number of kids roaming the neighborhood makes Halloween one of the most dangerous nights to be out driving. Go slowly and make sure you have plenty of time to stop.