Tips for Safe & Happy Trick-or-Treating
Let me share a personal “mom-fail” from last Halloween. I went all out and handmade a mummy costume for my 5-yr old. I shredded the fabric, dyed it, and tied it back together. I spent forever wrapping my little mummy up with intricate, individual pieces of fabric and painting his face until he had the perfect “back-from-the-dead” look, all while running back and forth to the door to pass out candy to the early birds.
As soon I had him all wrapped up and ready to roll, he announced, “I have to pee.” (No problem!) Whoops…those intricate wrappings? Yeah, they were a little too interwoven and underpants-land was insidiously inaccessible. Take-away note? Have your kids use el baño before you leave the house, and make sure that their costumes allow for such action to take place.
For Going Out (Trick-or-Treating)
Light it Up!
Anything that glows is usually cool by kids, so they won’t mind wearing a couple anklets or bracelets, and you won’t mind that drivers/people can see them more easily.
While they’re carrying the treat bags, you can carry a flashlight. Reflective tape is also a winner – slap some on your kid’s back and they won’t even know it’s there (but everyone else will…trick!).
Makeup in lieu of masks, when possible.
For easy breathing and clear vision.
Hem those pants and dresses –
A safety-pin will work; just make sure the little ones aren’t tripping over themselves. Scraped faces are not fun!
Map it out: Set a trick-or-treating route. Are your children small and you live in a neighborhood with houses that are farther apart? Try a “trunk-or-treat” or a nearby neighborhood with houses that are nearer to each other to avoid getting worn out too quickly. Let’s not have whiny little goblins before their bags are full.
Stay With Your Children!
Please, please, please, keep a hawk’s eye on the little munchkins. This might be an easy one for new parents but, even as they get older, I would insist sticking close.
What is the right age to go trick-or-treating without parents? At least twelve years old and with a trusted group of friends, in a safe neighborhood sounds good to most people I’ve spoken to (still seems young to me – eek!). My kids aren’t that old yet but, I have a feeling I’ll be the creeper following them two houses behind with the car lights dimmed, until they’re out of the trick-or-treat phase. Please post your thoughts in the comment section!
Leave the Pets Home
Here’s some great info on why, from the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.
Bring water along to refresh your thirsty little ghouls.
Walk! Don’t run.
For tripping’s sake.
Check one, check two! The candy, that is…
Is it wrapped? Is it slightly opened? Has it been punctured? Does your child have a food allergy?
Safety first: Toss it in the trash if there is any question.
Ration & Brush
Ration some out for mom and dad, I mean. (Kidding…not kidding.) Keep the candy stashed where the kids can’t reach it. Who wants an expensive dental bill? Not me! Probably not you, either. Nor do we want kids on a semi-permanent sugar-high until Thanksgiving.
Keep their teeth flossed and brushed. If your children have any special dental work, such as caps, steer clear of the sticky, chewy candies to avoid pulling it off.
For Passing Out Treats (At Home)
Mix it Up –
“All sugar, all the time!” Try something different, it doesn’t always require candy! I’ve given out fun erasers, stickers, Halloween themed pencils. Be creative, keep it inexpensive, and still keep them (and their parents) happy.
The Lights Are on But, No One’s Home:
- Are you at home, ready to pass out treats? Turn your porch / walkway lights on. That’s the signal for trick-or-treaters to come ‘n get it, and to make sure that they don’t trip on the way to candyland.
- Are you leaving the house or out of candy? Turn the porch light off.
Scan the perimeter and make sure any toys, tools, etc. on the lawn, porch, sidewalk and steps are tucked away. If there is snow (please, no!) clear a path and sand or salt it.
Put the Pets Away
A sweet and gentle dog who is scared by lights, noise and costumes can magically morph into a puppy who bites or runs out the door. Don’t take the chance of your pets getting hurt or lost, a person getting hurt, or (I hate to mention this but it happens!) getting sued for an accident that may occur. Put your precious pet in a separate area or room of the home until the candy fiends have scattered.
Only three more days! OOOoohh!!