Halloween is a great opportunity for the whole family to have fun together. But just like any major holiday, accidents, injuries and other mishaps can occur — whether it’s a scraped knee, a stomach ache from too much candy or having someone separated from your group.
We have tips on how to avoid most Halloween complications and make sure your evening is filled with nothing but treats.
1. Make your home trick-or-treater friendly.
If you’re planning to pass out candy this year, take the time to remove any potential hazards from your lawn and porch, such as wet leaves and gardening equipment. Some children are not comfortable around pets, so restraining your dogs and cats can also help make the night go more smoothly.
2. Consider mobility when picking out children’s costumes.
Running from house-to-house in the dark poses its own challenges, but gets even trickier when wearing a costume that doesn’t fit well. Make sure your child’s costume is not too long and that shoes fit in order to avoid tripping. If possible, favor makeup or decorative hats over masks, which can block eyesight.
3. Limit overindulgence, and wait until you get home to dig in.
Giving your kids a good meal before heading out can prevent them from overdoing it on candy and sweets later.
While tampering with Halloween treats is rare, it’s worth the time to quickly look through your child’s candy for any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items before they start snacking.
4. Remain visible while on sidewalks and roads.
Even the most cautious drivers can struggle with seeing trick-or-treaters. Carrying flashlights or wearing reflective material can help make you more visible. When possible, stay on the sidewalk and walk closely together as a group.
5. Don’t forget that many children have food allergies.
In the U.S., one in 13 children has a food allergy — that’s roughly two children in every classroom. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction. Click here for tips on how to be prepared for children with food allergies if you’re passing out candy or hosting parties where children will be present. Click here for more information on making Halloween safer for children with food allergies.
6. Be patient with trick-or-treaters who knock on your door.
Halloween can be overwhelming for any child, but especially so for a child with special needs. It’s easy to assume a child is being rude if he or she doesn’t speak to you, but keep in mind that the child may not be physically able to or may be too overwhelmed to do so. The child who takes a long time to pick out his or her treats may have poor motor planning skills, and the one who seems to grab at the treats in the bowl may have poor fine motor skills. Remember to be kind and patient to all of the trick-or-treaters who come calling.
7. Establish a clear plan with older children.
Before your older children head out on their own, sit down with them and review where they will be going, when they should return and any other ground rules you feel necessary.
More ParentingU Resources for Halloween