Halloween: a night dedicated to costumes, candy, and exhausted parents. Once your kiddos are old enough to get swept up in the Halloween spirit, it’s up to you as a parent to tread the line between chaos and safety. And if it’s your first time heading back out after a year of quarantine, you have even more to stress over. Here are six trick-or-treat safety tips to make sure everyone gets buckets of candy and home safely.
1. Make sure everyone is warm enough.
The end of October is the perfect time for chills and thrills – for many of us that live further north, emphasis on the chills. While your LO might argue that a superhero doesn’t need a coat, superheroes don’t run the risk of freezing when it’s cold outside. To avoid any arguments about the merits of a puffy coat, try to steer your kids towards warmer costumes or those easier to sneak warm layers underneath. Also, try to sneak gloves into pockets or keep them in your bag so there aren't any frozen fingers holding onto their candy.
2. Incorporate masks into their costumes.
Whether you’ve already got a masked costume (think: surgeon or the Winter Soldier) or you choose to buy a matching mask for your princess, masks are important this Halloween. You might have to get creative with customization, but keep your kiddo and other trick-or-treaters safe by masking up, even when in costume.
3. Establish ground rules before heading out.
It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement, so make sure it’s clear what you’re expecting from them. How far down the block are you going? Who is sticking with who? What time are you heading back? Especially if your kids are older and trick or treating by themselves.
4. Keep the lights on them.
It’s always easier to keep an eye on things when you can see everything. Have flashlights handy for once it’s totally dark and try to incorporate a light source into your kid’s costumes – give them their own flashlight, deck them out in glow sticks, the options are endless.
5. Have emergency supplies on hand.
You never know what might happen when you’re out trick or treating – anything goes on Halloween night. Safety pins for broken costumes, extra sweaters when your little hero gets cold (after saying they wouldn’t), a Social Safety Pack to cover any fallen masks or dirty hands. Let’s just hope your bag holds it all.
6. Check the candy once you're home.
While we might like to believe everyone has good intentions, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Dump out the candy bags to assess everybody’s haul and make sure everything is safe for consumption. Watch out for candy that looks already opened, food with potential allergens, and anything that seems sketchy to you.