Many kids and LGBT parents look forward to trick or treating. For kids, Halloween is a time to jam as much Twix and Butterfinger bars as you can possible stuff into a pillowcase or plastic pumpkin. For parents, it is an opportunity to show off your kids’ costumes via photos texted to family and friends with messages such as “Look at my cute little bumble bee!” or “Check out this awesome vampire costume!” However, it is also important to keep your kids safe. Halloween can be a prime time for predators or other people who want to harm or injure innocent children. To make your Halloween as safe and enjoyable as possible, follow these tips.
Check your kids’ candy.
Unfortunately, some people have used Halloween as an opportunity to tamper with kids’ Halloween goodies. Parents should inspect candy before your child eats it. Torn wrappers, small holes, and open, bitten, or discolored candy could point to tampering. As always, use your intuition. If you see a piece of candy that does not give you a good feeling, by all means, throw it out. It is not worth your child’s health or a trip to the emergency room.
Keep your kids close and in your sight at all times.
It only takes a few seconds for somebody to snatch your child. Kidnapping is even easier in the dark, bushes, trees, and parked cars prime hiding spots for kidnappers. Hold your kids’ hands and encourage siblings to hold each other’s hands, as well. Stand next to your children and watch them while they visit and leave a house. Tell your kids not to run ahead of you. Unless you know and trust the person who owns the home, do not let your children walk inside a house to get candy on their own.
Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods.
While it is fun to explore new places, waiting for another day is probably your best bet. If a parent gets lost on Halloween, they can usually find their way. If a child gets lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood, they are vulnerable to predators and strangers. Why take the chance of something bad happening to your child? Trick or treat in familiar places. If your child gets separated from you, they have a better chance of finding you in a neighborhood that they know. Devise a safety plan before you take your kids trick or treating. Consider giving your kids a cell phone for the night with instructions on how to call you or 911. To be on the safe side, snap a photograph of your kids in their costumes beforehand and carry it with you.
Establish some ground rules.
The excitement of Halloween is infectious, especially for small children. Children, in their zest for chocolate and goodies, may run across the street without checking for cars. Before you go trick or treating, reiterate the importance of looking both ways as you cross the street as a family and stay together. Teenagers may want to go trick or treating with a friend. If this is the case and you approve, set a meeting place, time, or curfew for them.
Lighten up your children’s costumes.
While dark costumes, such as witches, zombies, and vampires can be fun, they are also harder for you and moving vehicles to see. Lighten up your kids’ costumes with something that will stand out, i.e. a white sash, a light colored scarf, glow in the dark necklace, white facial make-up, or shoes that light up. Light colored clothes and items can help you keep track of your children and help cars see your kids.
Hope you have a fun and safe Halloween. Parents, do you have any trick or treating tips that you would like to share? Please leave a comment on my page.