We want you to have a safe and fun Halloween celebration on Tuesday.
As kids, we remember running around with our friends knocking on doors and screaming, “trick or treat?” What great memories.
The modern-day Halloween celebration mostly is an excuse to eat lots of candy. Parents should think about some basic rules and safety tips and talk to their children about them before they head out on their nightly adventure. All the fun can come to a quick halt if someone gets hurt.
Parents should inspect candy before the little ones start consuming it. We don’t often take food from strangers, so on Halloween, we should agree to have someone responsible look it over first.
Typically, it’s a good idea to avoid any candy or food that isn’t factory sealed or packaged. Some households hand out apples or other fruit, popcorn balls or cookies. Politely accept the gift, but don’t eat it.
If any candy looks suspicious or tampered with in some way – don’t eat it.
In some areas of town, like the old West Side, kids will be running all over the place. Parents should consider giving their kids flashlights or glow-in-the-dark sticks to help make sure they will be seen.
Even though kids may carry flashlights or glow sticks, they should only trick or treat in well-lighted areas. There is no need to go down a dark, dead end street. And remember, if the porch light is off, don’t bother the residents.
With so many strangers walking the streets, it is much smarter for trick-or-treaters to go in groups of three or more rather than in pairs. Parents should go near enough to the front doors of the houses their kids trick or treat at so they can be seen by the residents.
When trick or treating, kids should never go inside someone’s house or talk to strangers on the street. Halloween is like any other day, the “stranger danger” rules still apply.
It is difficult to expect kids to pay attention to traffic laws, but certainly encourage them to do so. Crossing streets at stop signs and utilizing crosswalks only makes sense. In areas where numerous cars are parked, try not to dart between them and cross the street, it’s too hard to see and be seen.
Encourage youngsters to use the bathroom before heading out to trick or treat. Don’t ask residents to use their bathrooms. It is not polite, nor is it safe.
Depending on the age of your kids, if you let them go out unsupervised, agree beforehand exactly where they can trick or treat. Keep kids in familiar neighborhoods. Trick or treating at households where they know people always is preferable.
Of course, a curfew is required. Any young people allowed to trick or treat on their own should have a specific time to be back home. This is a no-brainer. Remember, some neighborhoods have specific hours for trick or treating, so know the hours for your area.
Wearing a colorful, beautiful or scary costume is part of the fun. For younger ones, make sure costumes are made of flame-resistant material. Some homes have pumpkins on the porch with lighted candles inside. The pumpkins can easily get knocked over and possibly burn someone.
Not all kids want to wear bright colored costumes, which make them easy to see, but do your best. If your child wears a Darth Vader, all-black costume, find a spot on the costume to put some reflective tape.
It hasn’t rained a lot lately, but it sometimes is wet on Halloween. Depending on the weather or area your children are going, be sure they wear the right type of shoes. If it rains, make sure the soles will grip the slippery pavement. If a costume comes with shoes, make sure the shoes are comfortable enough to walk around in.
Halloween is fun for kids and adults alike. Let’s enjoy Halloween safely.