Here are a few tips for staying safe while you set out on the trek for treats this Halloween. The costumes have been chosen, the houses are haunted, the pumpkins have been carved, phrases from Hocus Pocus are in constant rotation. It’s time…
Stock up on glow sticks!
Anything that glows or lights up is a good option for wearing or using to keep your kids in view. Dollar stores have multipacks available for wearing and sharing. So crack them when you’re ready to head out the door and put them on every wrist, ankle, wagon, backpack, or goody bag. Parents can bring flashlights too. Costumes with dark colors are harder to distinguish between each other once the sun goes down, but your kiddo wearing the ten glowing necklaces will be quicker to spot.
Travel in a group.
Walk around with friends. More adults could mean more eyes and more hands to help. Not to mention this could be the start of a new Halloween tradition for you all.
Know the neighborhood.
If you don’t know the neighborhood you’re traveling to, ask someone to go with you who does. If the street doesn’t look well lit, or is very busy with vehicles, I would suggest changing plans. Find an alternate street or go to a familiar spot.
No lights, no candy.
This holiday is when we learn that if the porch light isn’t on, there are no decorations, and it looks dark in the windows, the house is not to be disturbed. Not everyone chooses to participate in the Halloween festivities and that’s OK. Move along to the next house with the carved pumpkins and faux ghouls dangling from the trees on the front lawn.
Stick to a path.
Sidewalks are your friend. Use them! Look for well-lit spaces and stay visible.
Watch for vehicles.
Some sidewalks are narrow or practically non existent in some neighborhoods. If you must walk in the street, or share the bike lane, while you walk from house to house, be on the lookout for cars. They may not see you first. Especially if you’re dressed in all black and you’re a small kid.
Inspect all treats.
I know it’s tempting to start munching away at all the goodies to help lighten the load as you walk. Check each and every piece in that bag first! Any wrappers that have holes, rips, or tears are a no-go. Homemade treats, as much as I would love to trust the love and effort that went into making them and packaging each individually, automatically go in the bin for my household. Check for broken trinkets, cough drops, sharp objects, etc. Anything that looks questionable, toss. End of story.
Charge those phones.
Tweens, teens, and adults, this one’s for you. If you are venturing out with a group of your friends, save some of that selfie battery for possible emergencies. You may need that phone to call for help or find the other members of your group. Plan ahead: leave with a full battery, bring a portable charger with you if you have one, or stick with someone who has a phone with enough battery to get you through the night.
Make a plan.
This could save your night no matter your age. Before you start your fun, make a plan with your group, or family, to meet at a designated point of your choosing. If anyone gets separated, go straight there and wait. If it’s curfew, go straight there and wait. Make sure it is a location that looks safe, is well lit, and in clear view.
In all of the fun you will be having, don’t forget: being aware of your surroundings is a key to staying safe. Familiar surroundings or not. Glance around, find people you know. Check in with a headcount of the kiddos in your group periodically. If the glow sticks stop glowing, the phones die, and the candy bowls come up empty, it’s time to call it a night.
Don’t forget to have some F U N ! Wishing you a safe and sugary Halloween with your big and little ones. Leave me some of your favorite costume ideas in the comments below.