Trick or Treat? Help Kids Celebrate Halloween Safely
When you’re a kid, Halloween is a carefree occasion, a day consumed with costumes
and candy. But as a parent concerned with your child’s health and safety, Halloween
can feel a little more spooky than sweet.
Here are some key tips (and a few tricks) you can put into action to help keep the
holiday fun and your little one safe.
Dress for Success
Your child may be the one choosing the costume, but you can make sure that it meets
certain safety requirements. For instance, if your child will be trick-or-treating
at night, add reflective tape to the costume, shoes, or trick-or-treating bag.
Instead of masks that can interfere with vision and lead to accidents, consider nontoxic
makeup or a hat that fits properly. If your child’s costume has an accessory such
as a sword or cane, check that it’s not too long or sharp and encourage your child
to leave it at home while trick-or-treating.
Trick-or-Treat with Care
Young kids should always have a parent or other caregiver with them while trick-or-treating.
If you have older kids who will be trick-or-treating without you, make sure that they
have a cellphone, in case of an emergency. When trick-or-treating at night, encourage
kids to carry a flashlight. (Be sure to check that it has fresh batteries!)
Remind kids to only go to homes that have a porch light on and to never go inside
someone’s home or car. Before Halloween, discuss the route your kids plan to take.
Check that it’s in a familiar and well-lit area. Encourage them to stay in a group
and agree on a time when they’re expected to return home.
Be on Allergen Alert
Sugar tsunami aside, Halloween can stir up some serious concerns if you have a child
with food allergies. In fact, many popular Halloween treats contain common allergens,
including nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat.
If your child has a food allergy, emphasize the importance of waiting until he or
she is home to sort through and check treats to make sure they’re safe to eat. Even
if a particular candy is usually safe for your child, “fun size” or miniature versions
can contain different ingredients, so you need to check the labels on each one. If
your child has a food allergy, make sure he or she has an epinephrine auto-injector
with them at all times.
With a little planning and communication, Halloween can be a fun and safe time for