Halloween is a wonderful time for the children to dress in a scary or creative costume, but before heading out in the neighborhood, families should be aware of the pitfalls that may await the children. And, that means preparing for all safety concerns so that the trick- or- treating will be a memorable experience. Parents and caregivers should talk with their children and discuss what is acceptable behavior and be on the watch for possible alerts to their safety.
Trick-or-treating should be with a responsible adult or traversing in groups, and if the event is at night, there should be reflective material or flashlights to help motorists view the children as they go from house to house. The costumes and masks should be tested for visibility and range of movement. Parents should be aware of the treats received from the homeowners, and be alert of any homemade treats if it’s from a house that isn’t well known in the neighborhood. The house should be well lit and the children should be aware of any obstacles on the ground or walkways that may cause an accident.
Halloween has its share of ghosts and goblins, but there are also predators lurking, and this would be an opportune time to discuss what procedure can be used to deter any offensive action. Children can be instructed to yell out noticeable content, such as 911, fire or mentioning that a person is trying to take or hurt them. Police officials should be contacted if there is an incident.
It is prudent to be prepared for all weather alerts, and a cell phone or watch should be part of the safety regimen. When visiting a house to accept a treat, the children should be informed to never enter a house of a stranger, and that means always waiting at the door. Any treats that are received should be placed in a bag first, and not be eaten until the parents oversee the treats for any objects that may be inserted in candy that isn’t wrapped.
Well before the Halloween excursion begins, parents and educators should go over all the safety concerns. By developing games and puzzles, they will make children aware of what to look for or any expectations for a safe journey. Make a checklist with a yes or no response as follows:
- Costumes should be long and big
- Visit houses that have no lights
- Receive treats at the door
- Trick or treat with a group of friends
- Try some candy before going home
- Walk, don’t run to the door to receive treats
- Ask strangers for directions or help
The final safety tips include marking a route or toward a direction where there are many people around, and make sure the children don’t take short -cuts in alleys or parking lots. Children should obey the proper traffic procedure if there are cross walks or traffic lights. Obeying the laws and safety alerts is a combined effort from families, educators and police officials well before Halloween. If children leave the trick-or-treating for an arranged party, it will be neccesary to have the proper contact numbers and transportation by a responsible adult. If there are weather concerns and trick- or -treating is cancelled, the parents should direct their attention to media outlets, neighborhood newslettters or reports from municipalities.