From costumes to pets to trick-or-treating, Halloween poses various safety concerns to keep track of — especially when celebrating with the family.
As you prepare for the holiday, plan your route, costume, and family rules well in advance. This way, you can avoid unexpected tricks and set yourself up for a night of treats and Halloween safety!
Choose a Safe Trick-or-Treat Route
Whether you’re the parent or just “the adult,” your trick-or-treating group’s safety is your responsibility. So, you should locate your safest routes well before the big spooky night. In doing so, you can usually hit more houses without second-guessing your path.
Check out the following Halloween safety tips for your trick-or-treat route.
Prioritize Familiar Neighborhoods
Depending on your location, it usually gets dark near the end of trick-or-treating. As a result, you and your family may feel unsafe if you’re unfamiliar with the area.
If you’re new to your neighborhood, research the best trick-or-treating blocks using local and online resources. Alternatively, you can drive to an area you’re more familiar with, such as near a family member’s house.
Limit the Busy Intersections and Roads on Your Route
High-traffic areas can slow down your route and pose serious safety hazards. Kids’ costumes often restrict their vision and leave them overheated and distracted. Meanwhile, dark lighting and flashing decorations make driving on Halloween dangerously complicated.
So, your safest option is to avoid busy intersections and roads entirely. Even an intersection that’s usually empty may be congested with stumbling characters in costumes, making it impossible to cross safely.
Avoid Dark Areas and Carry a Flashlight
Unlit sidewalks create additional safety concerns on your route. Decorations, power cords, and your own costumes can all be tripping hazards in the dark — especially if your vision is already restricted. Plan a night before Halloween to walk your route to look for dark areas and other concerns.
Then, grab at least one dependable flashlight before heading out. This way, if you drop something, make a wrong turn, or your phone dies, you can still keep your route lit.
Establish Clear Trick-or-Treating Rules
Once they’re in costume and on the sidewalk, your kids may only hear half the words you say. So, take some time before getting ready to clearly establish your rules and expectations for the night.
Accompany Children and Stay in a Group
Always supervise children and teenagers when going out on Halloween night. Additionally, ensure that everyone in your party knows to stick together — which means no one goes up to a front door alone. Consider setting a “buddy system” to keep everyone accountable in larger groups.
Set Up a Schedule
Establishing a set start time and curfew will help you stay on track, especially if you’re trying to get home before dark. Keep an eye on the time as you trick-or-treat, and consider cutting your route short if needed.
Double-Check Your Halloween Costumes
Your group’s costumes may become your biggest safety concerns on your trick-or-treating route. Check out these Halloween safety tips for planning your costume.
Use Reflective Colors and Glow Sticks
Once the sun sets, drivers and other trick-or-treaters may have difficulty seeing you in your outfit. So, try to grab costumes with bright, reflective colors such as white, yellow, and pink. Then, consider adding reflective tape, glow sticks, and other accessories to ensure your party stands out.
Try Everything on Before Halloween
Loose pant legs, small eye slits, and other costume problems may not be too concerning at first. However, they can pose serious safety hazards while trick-or-treating. Ask your family to try their costumes on at least a week beforehand. This way, you’ll have ample time to make corrections or order replacements.
Keep an Eye on the Candy
Thoroughly inspect all candy before letting anyone eat it. Specifically, look out for any tampered wrappers, suspicious packaging, or homemade goodies. While most Halloween candy is safe, you never know what people pass out on Halloween. So, it’s always better to be safe.
Additionally, consider your family’s allergies, dietary restrictions, and choking hazards for younger kids. As the night goes on, watch how much your kids eat to avoid stomachaches and cranky attitudes later.
Remember Your Pets’ Safety
With so much going on, it can be easy to overlook your furry friends. Keep your pets indoors during the evening activities and secure them somewhere quiet and safe. Frequent knocking and ringing at the front door may disturb dogs, in particular, so turn off your doorbell if it’s wireless.
Most importantly, keep your candy far out of their reach — especially chocolate.
Practice Safety During Other Halloween Activities
Even if you’re not trick-or-treating, Halloween poses many opportunities for family fun.
Passing Out Candy
As long as you buy enough bags, you generally don’t have much to worry about when passing out candy. However, feeling stressed with so many people passing on and off your property is still natural. Video surveillance and professionally monitored alarms give you peace of mind, ensuring you can catch any unusual activity.
Halloween parties are a great way to celebrate the spooky day with your friends. When hosting, your biggest concern is often people’s costumes. Avoid open flames, tripping hazards, and dim lights to ensure safety throughout the festivities.
Attending Local Trunk-or-Treat Events
Trunk-or-treats and other local events often prioritize safety with allergy-focused initiatives and law enforcement partnerships. Because of this, trunk-or-treating may be a safer option for the whole family than trick-or-treating. Check out the trunk-or-treat events in your area to see what options fit your schedule.
Establish a Proactive Holiday Security Plan
Halloween safety is relatively straightforward as long as you give yourself time to prepare. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your costume or route, and always prioritize safety. For example, if you’re passing out candy, use the door with the best lighting and keep your other entry points locked and armed. These simple precautions can go a long way in ensuring a safe and memorable Halloween for everyone involved.
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