The yearly Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating incites giddy excitement from kids of all ages. Children get the chance to dress up in their favorite costumes, and adults in the community enjoy seeing the costumed kids knocking at their door. The safety of the children is the biggest priority on Halloween night. Safety strategies should be among families’ trick-or-treating tips.
Do choose a route that you know, such as the neighborhood around your home, a friend’s home or the school. Plan the route ahead of time and stick with the plan. If the kids are trick-or-treating alone, remind them of the importance of staying on the selected route. Consider organizing a large group of friends to trick-or-treat together on the same route for increased safety.
Don’t venture into an unfamiliar area, as you may end up lost. Avoid areas that are unsafe, particularly at nighttime, whether near your home or in other areas of the city. Refrain from knocking on doors where outside lights are off. If there is no indication that the homeowners are passing out candy, it’s best to move on to the next house.
Do check on the scheduled trick-or-treating time in the area. Verify the date of the event. Some cities choose to have a Beggar’s Night on Oct. 30. If the kids go trick-or-treating alone, set a specific time for them to return, or have them check in periodically.
Don’t begin trick-or-treating before the specified time or stay out after the conclusion time, which could upset people in the neighborhood. Remaining within the selected time period means more people are around to provide additional supervision and safety.
Do select a costume that fits the child well. Ensure that the costume doesn’t hang down too far, which could result in tripping. Use caution when selecting a mask, ensuring that it doesn’t reduce the child’s vision.
Don’t wear a dark costume unless you add reflective tape or lighting in some form. Avoid costumes made of materials that are potentially flammable. Check for a label that identifies the costume as flame resistant or flame retardant. Avoid extra accessories to the costume which could hurt other children or cause a tripping hazard.
Do accept all treats graciously. Remind kids to use their manners when collecting the treats on Halloween. Encourage them to say “please” and “thank you” at each home, even if the treat is something they don’t like or want.
Don’t consume any of the treats until they have been examined. Avoid eating any candies that look suspicious or are partially unwrapped. Discard them immediately so the kids don’t eat them unintentionally.