Halloween is around the corner and kids are getting excited about their costumes and candy. Help ensure it’s safe and fun for everyone with the tips listed below from “Daddy Nickell” a.k.a. Robert Nickell.
Tips for Keeping Children and Home Safe on Halloween
- Travel in a group. Not only will you and your child have more fun if you are with friends, but traveling in numbers simply proves to be safer. You have extra witness, extra hands, extra eyes and more adults watching out for your little ones.
- Attach a flashlight or glow stick to each costume and have an adult carry a flashlight. Most Halloween costumes are dark and not easily seen by cars. First safeguard your children by reminding them not to cross roads without thoroughly checking, but then ensure they have something on their body that will reflect and can easily be seen.
- Never enter a stranger’s home. No matter how enticing the decorations look, no matter how yummy the treats, never enter into a house of someone you don’t know. Halloween may seem like a perfect time to get to know new neighbors since all the doors are open, but it is also the perfect time for accidents and incidents to occur. If someone invites you inside to see their decorations, graciously accept their invitation for another time.
- Take the time to do a quick scan of Halloween candy before your children eat it. Look for any signs of tampering such as a torn wrapper or discolored item.
- Make sure unaccompanied kids have a cell phone in a secure spot in their costume. Encourage them to check in occasionally and call them if they miss a checkpoint.
- If possible, avoid masks with costumes and use face paint instead. Masks not only make it hard to see and navigate potholes and other hazards, but they make it difficult for others to recognize you.
- Go to trick-or-treat friendly homes. Only ring the doorbell of homes that have lights on and look to be participating in Halloween.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe for Trick-Or-Treaters
- Remove flowerpots and other obstacles that may cause tripping. Remember that younger children are literally running from house to house and clearing a path for them will alleviate accidents.
- Choose battery-operated candles to place in pumpkins and other decorations to prevent fire hazards.
- Keep your pets inside! You love your dog, but the little girl trick-or-treating might be horribly afraid of them. And you may know your cat is friendly, but the little boy who accidentally steps on her tail won’t appreciate the shriek kitty lets out. Do everyone, including your pets, a favor and keep them inside.
- If possible, remove the glass or screen from your storm door so you do not have to open and close the door all night. This will also help with keeping the pets inside.
- Be friendly, but not overly friendly. Only call kids by name if you know them, do not invite them into your house, don’t take pictures of the neighborhood kids.
- If you are not going to be home, turn off the lights and lock up the house. No need to leave candy and invite vandalism. Most kids know that if lights are off, that particular house is unavailable for trick-or-treating.
“Daddy Nickell” is the founder of DaddyScrubs.com, delivery room duds, gifts and apparel for dads. Drawing upon his experience of raising six children, Nickell is the writer of a weekly parenting blog where he writes on topics such as bonding with your child, and what the father should expect during pregnancy and infancy. He writes from a father’s perspective and keeps dad engaged throughout his children’s lives. He also contributes to national talk shows and daytime television shows including “Good Morning L.A.,” “Good Morning Texas,” “Daytime TV,” WZZM 13 and KSBI TV, and as a syndicated columnist for national newspapers, parenting magazines and websites including Baby Couture Magazine, Oh Baby! Magazine, City Parent Magazine and Homeschooling Parent.