Guest blogger: Lana Simon, Communications Specialist, Regional Support Center
It’s that time of year again. Last week we made our annual trip to the party store to pick out Halloween costumes. My son wanted to be something scary. My daughter wanted to be a fairy. Everything he chose was too gory or the masks blocked his vision. So, we settled on a ghoulish ghost with a nice white robe that will allow him to be seen. On the flip side, my daughter picked a very sweet fairy costume. But, she’s always cold and chances are when we go trick or treating, it will be chilly and we will have to wear coats that cover the costume. Fairy wings will not fit under a jacket! So, after a little negotiation we settled on a princess with a longer gown and longer sleeve. But, I made sure the dress wasn’t too long in order to prevent tripping.
With choosing costumes out of the way, I will next have to enforce trick or treating rules: be careful of cars, always say thank you, and stop once it gets too dark. I will also remind my kids that I need to check the candy before eating. And, only two pieces each per night (yeah, right!)
Here are some Halloween trick or treating safety tips to keep your little goblins safe:
Wearing a Mask – If you, or your child, are planning to wear a mask for your spooky night out, make sure that the holes for the eyes are large enough to clearly see both straight ahead and peripherally. You may have to cut the eye openings larger to allow more visibility.
Candy from Strangers – This is the only time of year you allow your kids to take candy from strangers, you can never be too careful. Make sure your kids understand not to eat any candy or treats until they have properly examined. This allows you to check for any possible tampering with the candy wrappers; and at the same time, you get a chance at the first pick of candy!
Be Seen! Halloween is spooky enough outside without having to worry about your child not being seen in the dark while trick-or-treating. Prepare your child’s costume for strong visibility at night by choosing a costume that can be made with bright materials. If the theme of the costume does not allow for bright colors, add reflective tape to your child’s costume or treat bag.
Stay Away From Haunted Houses – Ensure your kids only visit houses with lights on. And, you might also suggest the houses they visit have some sort of Halloween decoration on the porch. Make sure your kids don’t go inside someone’s house. They can get their candy from the porch.
Monster Route – Sometimes a lost or missing child can be scarier than a thirsty vampire, for both you and your child. Know the trick or treat route your kids take, especially if you are not going with them. Have them check in regularly, by phone or by stopping back at home and make sure they do not deviate from the preplanned trick or treat route so you will always know where they are and will be.
Watch out for fast moving Mummies and Zombies! Always drive well below the posted speed limit in any residential area during trick-or-treating hours. You always want to make sure you have extra time to break if a child darts in front of your car.