Happy Fall, y’all! We’re finally at the point in the year where you’re trading in your sunhat for scarves, floral wreaths for pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, and plain old lattes for the coveted pumpkin spice latte. The change of seasons also means kids are gearing up for the spookiest holiday of them all, Halloween! On October 31 every year, children and adults alike break out their costumes and prepare for an evening filled with playing dress up, friends and family, and, our course, candy. While Halloween is a fun holiday to be enjoyed by all, there are safety risks that need to be addressed in order to keep your little ones out of harm’s way on the trick-or-treat trail.
When it comes to picking out a Halloween costume for children who will be taking to the neighborhood streets to trick-or-treat, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Choose costumes that are bright and reflective, or plan to add reflective tape to your child’s costume or trick-or-treat bag. Halloween is an unusual night where kids are roaming the streets later than normal, so it’s important to make sure your child is easily visible to cars on the road.
- Ensure your child’s costume and shoes fit properly. If a costume is too long or shoes are the wrong size there’s the potential that your child might trip while out trick-or-treating.
- Avoid masks, if possible, when picking out Halloween costumes. Masks have the potential to block eyesight, so consider using non-toxic makeup and/or fun hats and wigs when creating the perfect Halloween costume.
Out and About
When your child ventures out onto the trick-or-treat trail make sure they are equipped with the knowledge needed in order to stay safe. Foot traffic across neighborhoods and on the streets increases dramatically each year on Halloween, so here are some pointers to remember when crafting a safe trick-or-treat route:
- Make sure a parent or responsible adult is always with young children when they make their trick-or-treat rounds. Having an adult with them will help make sure children stay safe and follow safety procedures.
- Equip all children and adults with flashlights that have fresh batteries to ensure visibility is maintained throughout the night.
- If your older children are going without parents or adult supervision, make sure they have a group of friends to go with and that you are aware of their trick-or-treat route.
- Make sure sidewalks and pathways are used at all times. If there aren’t sidewalks where your child will be trick-or-treating, walk close to the edge of the street facing traffic.
- Remind your children of street crossing safety. Motorists may have a hard time seeing trick-or-treaters at night, so remind children to not assume the right of way and to look both ways before crossing the street.
Halloween is supposed to be a fun-filled night where children can express their creativity. Following these safety tips, and the others outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, can ensure your child has a fun night with friends and family and can give you the peace of mind knowing your child will be safe when making their candy rounds.