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
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.
Also, if your child will be trick-or-treating at night, add reflective tape to the costume, shoes or trick-or-treating bag.
Be Street Smart
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.
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
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 him or her at all times.