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How to have a safe and spooktastic Halloween

October 31, 2014

Halloween may not be the most anticipated time of year among adults, but for kids, it’s a different story. The anticipation of dressing up in their favorite costume and collecting candy until their trick-or-treat bucket is too heavy to carry can be overwhelming. For some kids, it seems almost torturous to make them wait until it’s time to go trick-or-treating to show off their costumes to their friends and family. Dressing up in a favorite costume, going door-to-door screaming “trick-or-treat!”, and coming home to a pile of candy is the highlight of the fall season for many kids.

Aside from all of the plans, preparations, and excitement for Halloween, it’s important to keep these precautions in mind to ensure that your kids have a safe holiday (adapted from the AAP recommendations):

Costume Hazards

  • Keep it bright. Plan costumes that are bright and reflective, or consider adding reflective tape to costumes to increase visibility during nighttime.
  • Safety first. When shopping for costumes, wigs, and accessories, make sure they are flame resistant by looking at the label.
  • Protect your eyes. Do not use decorative lenses without an eye exam and prescription from an eye care professional. Using such lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. The lenses can cause pain, irritation, inflammation, and even eye infections.
  • Keep it soft. If your child is carrying a sword or other prop, make sure it is not sharp, or too long, which could be harmful if your child trips or falls.

Trick-or-Treat Routes

  • Join in on the fun. Always have a parent or other adult with young children as they make their way through the neighborhood.
  • Review the plans. If your kids are older, plan the route they will take and designate a specific time to return home by. Make sure that at least one child in the group has a flashlight to help guide the others at night. Have at least one child carry a cell phone and teach them how to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
  • Safety in numbers. Always travel in a group and never assume you have the right of way. Stay on sidewalks, or on the very far side of the road that is facing traffic.
  • Stay out of danger. Never enter a car or home for a treat and only go to homes with porch lights on.

Healthy Halloween

  • Fuel up. Make sure your kids eat dinner before going out to trick-or-treat to keep them from filling up on candy.
  • Keep it healthy. Purchase non-food treats to hand out to kids who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils, or opt for healthier alternatives to candy, such as granola bars, or chocolate covered pretzels.
  • One a day (or two!). Try rationing treats in the days following Halloween to limit your child’s intake of candy and teach them healthier eating habits.
At the end of day, just HAVE FUN! Halloween is a great excuse to spend more time with friends and family, so take advantage of it. And with these tips, your family can have a fun AND safe holiday.

What costumes did your kids pick out this year? What are some of your favorite Halloween memories?

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