Halloween is a busy and exciting time filled with cool costumes, fun parties, and tasty treats. However, the holiday poses a lot of risk for the general public: the late night hours lower visibility for people on the road, huge crowds of people in costume can cause confusion, and large amounts of edible goodies can pose health risks. Keeping your children and loved ones safe during all the commotion can be a tall order. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you make the most out of your Halloween celebration.
Children are understandably most excited about trick-or-treating,but going out trick-or-treating is one of the most dangerous aspects of the holiday. The best way to ensure safety is to make a plan with ample communication. Design their route through neighborhoods they are familiar with and lay out the places they can go for emergencies, including any first responder offices like local police stations and firehouses. Make sure your kids know their emergency numbers; 911 is a given, but children should also know the phone numbers for their trick-or-treating group as well as the home number for their parents/guardians. If your child is old enough to be trick-or-treating without an adult, try setting up a regular check-in schedule with your child like a text message with a special code or a phone-call. Know the route your child plans to take throughout the night and use these check-ins to keep an eye on your child’s progress. Remind your children to never enter the car or home of a stranger. Teach your child good road crossing etiquette and to stay in well lit areas.
Want to get a head start this year and hit the ground running? Your child’s safety starts with their costume. Encourage your child to pick a light colored costume and add reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape to their costume and treat bag to increase visibility at night. Make sure the costume is well-fitted and doesn’t pose a trip hazard with baggy cloth or oversized shoes. Keep wigs and beards away from your childs air pathways. Plastic masks can be difficult to see through, so consider using non-toxic face paint or make-up. Large crowds still pose a risk of catching airborne pathogens, so wearing a protective face mask can help lower that risk. If your childs costume needs props try foam props and other soft and flexible materials over hard plastics.
Giving out treats:
If there is to be trick-or-treating, someone must be willing to give out the tricks and the treats. Protecting your community is everyone’s duty and part of how you do that is ensure safe treats for trick-or-treaters. Using a face mask and greeting visitors from 6 feet away is the best way to help protect your friends and neighbors from dangerous pathogens like covid-19. A good alternative is setting up a treat table with pre-made, well-sealed treat bags instead of candy in a communal bowl. Do not prepare these treats if you are feeling ill. If you have homemade treats, consider including an ingredient list to help protect your neighbors with food allergies and restrictions.
We all want a safe and happy holiday season this year. It’s up to each member of our community to do their part in keeping everyone protected.