If you can believe it, it’s October already, and that means Halloween is coming! Kids often spend months deciding what they’d like to dress up as, days getting ready, and hours out trick or treating (followed by days of enjoying their candy hauls). What steps should parents take to make sure kids stay safe and healthy this Halloween? Now’s a good time to review some basic tips to keep the festivities fun and safe.
Let’s start with the costumes. Halloween gives your children a chance to make their imagination come to life. Costumes seem pretty straightforward, just another outfit, but we want to be sure it’s a safe one. How do we do that?
- Look for fire resistant materials and nontoxic makeup and accessories
- Visibility is key, so try to stick to light/bright colors or add reflective materials if needed
- Make sure everything fits appropriately, and make alterations if needed (no tripping hazards!)
- If using a hat or a mask, make sure it won’t block your child’s vision
- Skip the costume shoes, especially if they fit poorly. You’ll be better off sticking to sneakers.
Now that you’ve got your costumes ready, it’s time to head out for Halloween’s most beloved tradition: trick-or-treating.
- Make sure trick or treating is well supervised and takes place on a planned route
- Keep to sidewalks and well-lit areas (beware of cars and cyclists)
- Carry a flashlight
- Remind your children to never enter a stranger’s house
- Pay attention to the weather and dress appropriately even if it covers up the costume! Some years it’s frigid on Halloween, if so limit time outdoors.
- Finally, remember to stick to the official hours for trick or treating. For most local villages this is 3pm-7pm on 10/31, but be sure to check for your specific area.
So much sugar! Sure going around trick-or-treating is fun, but now you’re left with bags full of candy. What to do with it?
- Once you’re back home, inspect all of the candy and throw away anything unwrapped or spoiled
- Ration your candy. Try to avoid the stomachache that often comes after overdoing it on Halloween. You can limit your child to picking 1-2 pieces at a time or make it into a reward system for household chores, etc.
- Consider donating some of the excess sweets. There are various organizations that will accept wrapped Halloween candy, for example:
- Operation Gratitude (https://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/halloween-candy-for-the-troops/)
- Operation Shoebox (http://www.operationshoebox.com/how-you-can-help/candy-donations/)
- Halloween Candy Buyback (http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/)
- Local shelters and food pantries
Hopefully you’ll find some of these tips helpful for a safe holiday, we wish your family a very Happy Halloween!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 847-398-0400.