I am always a little nervous about taking the kids Trick Or Treating on Halloween. I love the time honored tradition and love the time I get to spend with the kids, but the concept of folks driving around with so many kids on foot in my neighborhood makes me nervous. There are a few things I make sure I do to keep the tiniest safe on Halloween!
It never ceases to amaze me that costume companies will make masks that kids can never see out of (avoid them in favor of makeup if you can!). Keep your ghouls and boys safe by making sure they can see properly. Make sure that the hem of their costume is up off the ground to avoid tripping, and all shoes are comfy and secured (double knot laces if you have to). Hems that need to be shortened can easily be “tacked” with a stapler or masking tape on the inside of the garment (old stage trick from my theater days). This is not the time for those cute little clacky play high heels from the dollar store. You want kids to be able to walk in yards, on sidewalks, and over potentially uneven ground without landing in the ER. That is a sucky little trick to play! Make sure that all masks are ventilated and breathable, eye holes are large enough, and stay securely in place for periods of time.
Keep Them Visible
I can’t believe how dark it gets this time of year, and how quickly it goes from light to dark. While walking the neighborhood is huge fun, there are still tons of cars – even a hay ride or two for groups of kids. Make sure your kids are having fun and staying safe by being visible. Mine love glow sticks. For Halloween, they get bracelets, necklaces, the works. You could probably see them from the space station. Other great options are reflective tape on their backs, light up shoes, and flashlights. My kids love a flashlight. They love everything about them, so I have no problems with allowing them to each tuck one in their buckets and play with them while we are out. If it keeps them seen, I’m all about it!
Location Location Location
My neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. People decorate, light pumpkins, have fire pits going at the end of their driveways and make a social evening of it. I love Halloween in our neighborhood. Kids come from other neighborhoods (no it doesn’t bother me, it’s Halloween! – be generous!) to trick or treat in ours. Think bags of chips, full size candy bars, you know the drill. Our neighborhood is a little older, and we have lots of older residents that love to see the kids. I almost wonder if they are baiting them… While we know most of the houses in our ‘hood, there are still a few that are rentals, so they have new folks every year. Be sure you stay with your kids, watch the interactions and inspect all treats when you get home. Stick to homes you know, well lit streets, and homes with a light on – respect those who don’t want to be bothered!
Check for Tricks
The minute my kids get home, I confiscate their bags (there may also be a covert “mom tax” applied at that time…don’t judge me, you know you do it too) and we dump all candy out on the kitchen counter. I go through it piece by piece. I trust the homes on our street. That being said, people do crazy things these days and you can never be too careful. I immediately ditch any treats that are opened, exposed, look “off” in any way. I realize that the dum dum wrapper was likely just folded wrong at the factory, but I’m not taking a chance.
Don’t let the potential pitfalls of the evening keep you from having fun. Planning ahead and using a little caution will keep you and your goblins safe for the big night!
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