For many children and adults alike, Halloween is one of the most fun nights of the year. Who wouldn’t love an evening of dressing up and FREE CANDY? But, with so many little ones out and about in one night, it’s important for everyone to be extra cautious to ensure we all enjoy a safe Halloween.
Here are five things you can do to make sure tomorrow night is still fun but drama free.*
Talk Rules With Your Little Ghouls
BEFORE you leave the house, make sure both little AND big goblins know the basics:
- Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks
- Never cross the street between parked cars
- Never go into a stranger’s house
- Watch out for cars backing or turning
- Wear bright colored clothing if possible, or reflective tape
- Use a flashlight or blinking runner’s light clipped to a costume or treat bag
Parent Pro-Tip: Help make your child visible in the dark by using a stripe of reflective tape on the front & back of their costume, glow-in-the-dark necklaces, or blinking pins similar to what night joggers wear.
Adults should accompany children, discuss the route their children should be taking, and most important, explain the difference between tricks and vandalism.
Halloween is considered the “deadliest day for child pedestrian accidents,” according to a State Farm study. Keep an eye open for children who forget the rules, use caution when traveling and obey posted traffic signs especially in neighborhoods.
Don’t Be Tricked By Your Treats
Make sure children know they should not open candy until they have returned home and that ALL candy should be inspected for tampering.
Parent Pro-Tip: If you are trick-or-treating, prep a small sample of pre-inspected candy for when your little monster needs a fix going door to door. Then make a Sorting Game of it when you get home – with you being the judge for the Best Haul. This guarantees you get to eyeball the loot before the kids start eating it.
Prepare Your Home
Have a well-lit home both inside and out to prevent vandalism and injuries, remove all obstacles from your lawns to avoid injuries (or shine a light on Halloween lawn decorations), and don’t use candles in decorations that could set a fire.
Another thing: if you have a home security camera system, make sure it’s engaged, armed, and the settings are adjusted.
Know Your Neighbors
In ideal circumstances, you would only visit homes of those neighbors you know, but at a minimum parents should check their neighborhoods for known sex offenders by visiting www.familywatchdog.us before heading out to trick or treat.
Lt. Wayne Kamus of the Madison Police Department also recommends parents do their due diligence before heading out on Halloween. He suggests looking over the following websites for some common-sense tips, as well as a few that might not occur to you.
*Thanks to the Madison and Huntsville Police Departments for their annual help in compiling these suggestions to keep our children safe on Halloween.
Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.