Black cats and Batmans and Elsas, oh my! When princesses and superheros and monsters come out to play, it must be Halloween.
Whether you're taking the kids out trick-or-treating or hosting a Halloween bash, we want this lighthearted evening to stay fun and memorable, in the right way! Just read through our Halloween Safety refresher and you'll be ready for anything the evening has in store.
Store bought or handmade, childrens' costumes should be made of flame resistant material. As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper the costume the less flame resistant it will be.
For extra safety, remember to the following:
- Trim costumes with reflective tape
- Carry flashlights (or glowing wands, light sabres, etc)
- Costumes should be short enough they won't cause trips and falls
- Shoes are well fitting, sturdy and comfortable
- Masks fit comfortably and snugly, and ensure children can see clearly through the eye holes. Wherever possible, use face paint or make-up instead.
- Costume weapons, like swords, knives and other similar accessories should be made of soft and flexible material. It should go without saying that if the costume requires a gun, they should be easily distinguishable as fake.
Know your route ahead of time. This will give you an idea of how far you'll have to walk and where older children will be if they're going out on their own. You can also decide ahead of time which houses to avoid.
Teach kids not to eat anything – wrapped or otherwise – until it has been checked by an adult. If they need a sugary pick-me-up while out and about, carry your own candy along, and keep it separate from their goody bags.
Sweet Tips: Sending kids out on a full stomach can help delay those sugar cravings until they get home.
Thoroughly check all candy as soon as your little ones get home. Toss anything that looks as though it's been tampered with, is old, or “funny looking”. Trust your gut here, and if you're not sure, defer to the experts – hospitals and police stations offer to check Halloween candy for free.
Young children should always be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating, but you should also teach children not to talk to strangers. Halloween is an especially sensitive time of year – if you don't recognize the face (or voice) behind the mask, steer clear.
Encourage your kids to only go to homes of families you know, only visit houses that have their outside lights on, and never go into a house to collect candy (unless, of course, kids are with a family member).
When the streets are well lit and full of kids and parents running this way and that, it's tempting to eschew the rules for awhile, but now more than ever when we should practice strict road safety rules. Always walk on the sidewalk and not on the street, cross at crosswalks and lights, and never walk between parked cars.
If you can, go out trick-or-treating in the late afternoon or at night, but avoid sunset when the fading light can make it hard for drivers to see properly.
Turn on the porch light and set up a bowl to let people know you're in the candy-giving spirit.
Even if you love going a little overboard with the decorations, keep your front walkway clear to avoid trips or falls. Use battery operated lights in jack-o-lanterns or decorations to avoid fire hazards.
Keep sugar and peanut free candy on hand for kids who may have allergies.
The kids may complain but that's just tough luck – safety first! The candy they're about to collect should be salve for their moodiness, anyway. Happy (and safe) Halloween!