Trick or Treat? Help Kids Celebrate Halloween Safely
When you’re a kid, Halloween is a carefree occasion, a day consumed with costumes and candy. But as a parent concerned with your child’s health and safety, Halloween can feel a little more spooky than sweet.
Here are some key tips (and a few tricks) you can put into action to help keep the holiday fun and your little one safe.
Dress for Success
Your child may be the one choosing the costume, but you can make sure that it meets certain safety requirements. For instance, if your child will be trick-or-treating at night, add reflective tape to the costume, shoes, or trick-or-treating bag.
Instead of masks that can interfere with vision and lead to accidents, consider nontoxic makeup or a hat that fits properly. If your child’s costume has an accessory such as a sword or cane, check that it’s not too long or sharp and encourage your child to leave it at home while trick-or-treating.
Trick-or-Treat with Care
Young kids should always have a parent or other caregiver with them while trick-or-treating. If you have older kids who will be trick-or-treating without you, make sure that they have a cellphone, in case of an emergency. When trick-or-treating at night, encourage kids to carry a flashlight. (Be sure to check that it has fresh batteries!)
Remind kids to only go to homes that have a porch light on and to never go inside someone’s home or car. Before Halloween, discuss the route your kids plan to take. Check that it’s in a familiar and well-lit area. Encourage them to stay in a group and agree on a time when they’re expected to return home.
Be on Allergen Alert
Sugar tsunami aside, Halloween can stir up some serious concerns if you have a child with food allergies. In fact, many popular Halloween treats contain common allergens, including nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat.
If your child has a food allergy, emphasize the importance of waiting until he or she is home to sort through and check treats to make sure they’re safe to eat. Even if a particular candy is usually safe for your child, “fun size” or miniature versions can contain different ingredients, so you need to check the labels on each one. If your child has a food allergy, make sure he or she has an epinephrine auto-injector with them at all times.
With a little planning and communication, Halloween can be a fun and safe time for all.