Halloween is almost here. It’s one of the most fun times of the year for kids, but it can also be dangerous. Follow these tips for keeping your child safe when they go out trick-or-treating.
1. Costumes can be cool and safe. Make your child’s costume safe by putting pieces of reflective tape on it. Masks are also fun, but they can obstruct a child’s view. If it’s possible, create a mask with face paint instead.
2. If your child is at the age where they can go trick-or-treating without a parent, make sure they go with a group of friends instead. Be firm on teaching them to never stray from the group. There’s safety in numbers.
3. Keep your kid safe when they’re trick-or-treating on busy streets. Teach them how to cross the streets safely by using crosswalks and traffic signs. Give your child a flashlight or glow stick to carry so oncoming traffic can see them.
4. Tell your child that under no circumstances should they ever go inside a house to get candy. If they encounter a homeowner who wants them to go inside their house to get a treat, tell your child to run, not walk away.
5. Teach your kid the importance of waiting until they get home to eat their treats. Check every piece of candy to make sure it’s safe. If a piece of candy looks suspicious, throw it out.
6. Plan a detailed route for your kid. Make sure you know exactly which streets and houses your kid will be visiting on Halloween. Give them a cell phone to use to check in with you.
7. Check the US Department of Justice National Sex Offender Database (http://www.nsopw.gov) to see if any predators are located in your neighborhood. If there are sex offenders nearby, explain to your child the importance of staying away from this home during their trick-or-treating adventure.
8. Your child may be tempted to take short cuts through unlit yards. Teach your kid the importance of staying on well-lit streets with a lot of people when they’re out trick-or-treating.
9. Keep safety in mind when choosing the style of your kids’ Halloween costume. Make sure the costume you choose for your child isn’t too long. If a costume drags on the ground, your kid could trip over it.
10. Tell your child to only go trick-or-treating at houses that are well-lit. Some people don’t celebrate Halloween, and they should be respected.