Spooky season has arrived, and to keep Halloween fun and safe for your little ghosts and ghouls, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. After all, the only scare you want this October is from a thriller movie night or in a haunted house with the family. From keeping the kiddos visible or checking the candy before eating, we have several safety tricks to help the night stay a treat.
Children under 13 years old should have an adult supervise them while going door to door. Stick to well-lit areas, sidewalks and a pre-determined route (preferably a neighborhood you are familiar with). Avoid walking in the road or cutting across yards and keep the pace at walking. Make sure to keep hand sanitizer on you as your children will be going up to several doors and reaching into candy bowls. Only go to houses that have the lights on and do not let your children enter strangers’ homes. And if you have very young children, you can always look up school or community sponsored Trunk or Treats—where people decorate the trunks of their cars and pass out candy from them—for an alternative to a neighborhood trick or treat.
If your kids are older and are trick-or-treating by themselves, be sure to know what route they have planned, who is everyone in their group and that they have their phones charged and turned on. This way, you can reach other easily, and you can check in through the night. Provide them with a flashlight and have a set curfew for them to return.
Driving on Halloween Night
Navigating residential streets on Halloween night can be tricky. Go slower than normal, turn your headlights on and keep your eye out for trick-or-treaters crossing the street. Avoid texting or any distractions so that you can see and stop for pedestrians. Taking extra time to make turns or at crosswalks is also a good idea. If you need to drop off or pick up a trick-or-treater, be mindful about where they can safely exit or enter the vehicle and signal to other drivers with turn signals and hazard lights.
No matter if your kid is dressing up as a superhero or a monster, you’ll want to make sure they can move and see while trick-or-treating. Costumes should fit properly and comfortably, be weather appropriate and not drag on the ground to prevent loose fabric getting underfoot and tripping them. Any props they carry should be lightweight, soft enough to avoid causing injuries and not hinder movement. Any mask or costume headgear should leave plenty of room for them to see and breathe clearly. Face paint is a good alternative to masks, as long you test it on a small section of the child’s skin beforehand. You don’t want any allergic reactions to spoil the evening.
We’d also advise against darker colored costumes, opting for clearly visible, brighter ones. Whether they choose a bright or dark costume, add reflective tape in several places on their costume so they’re easily spotted by drivers.
Whether you are helping your kids collect candy or passing it out at your home, there are some things to consider. Inspect all the candy in your child’s bucket or tote before they eat it. Any homemade packaging or wrappers that are open, damaged, have holes or show signs of tampering should be discarded. The damage may not have been intentional, but we encourage you to only keep candy that is securely wrapped. To deter children from snacking on their candy corn while trick-or-treating, be clear with them that you need to inspect it and have dinner first or bring snacks from home so they won’t be hungry. Remove any candy that could be a choking hazard if you have younger children.
If you are giving out candy, we encourage sticking to pre-packaged sweets. If you know of neighborhood children who have food allergies or want to have something available just in case, search for top allergy-friendly candies that are free of artificial dyes, gluten or dairy. Non-edible items like small toys, glowsticks or stickers can be great substitutes as well.
To signal that you have candy ready, make sure your lights are on so everyone can see. Keep your walkway clear to prevent trips and falls and avoid fire hazards by using LED lights in your jack-o’-lanterns and decorations.
HomeFirst® hopes you have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the fall season. And don’t forget to have your young ones share the goodies! Keeping them safe deserves a treat for you too.