Halloween is a fun and festive holiday for both kids and parents. The costumes, the parties, the treats, the trick-or-treating; these are great times for the whole family. But as a parent how can you ensure your child not only has fun on Halloween, but is healthy and safe as well? Here are some tips on how to have a safe, healthy, and fun Halloween.
- Choose costumes that are bright or reflective. If this is not feasible, fix reflective tape to the front and back of the costume, as well as on the treat bag. If you are in an especially dark neighborhood find a bright bicycle light to attach as well. This will keep your little monsters visible to any flying broomsticks or horseless carriages passing by.
- The size of the costume can be the difference between a frozen little trick-or-treater and a toasty one. If it is going to be chilly choose a costume a few sizes too large to fit warm clothing underneath. If not, make sure the costume fits properly. Oversized shoes, pants, or robes can cause tripping trick-or-treaters.
- Masks can make it hard to see and breathe: use non-toxic face paint instead. You and your family can have fun coming up with ideas and designs for the paint. Let your child design his or her own, have a contest to see who has the best idea, or paint your face like a favorite famous character. Painting your face allows for more creativity and for a safer Halloween night!
- A few other safety tips for you and your little ghouls: Make sure prop items such as swords are dulled and not too long or oversized. Sharp props can cause injuries. And make sure flashlights have new, working batteries to keep trick-or-treating light and bright.
- Use markers, paint, glitter, and glue to create an amazing jack-o-lantern. If you just cant go without carving let your child come up with the design, then let the adults do the dirty work.
- Jack-o-lanterns lit with candles are beautiful and spooky, but can also be a frightful fire hazard. Do not leave lit candles unattended or left to burn all night. Better still, use glow sticks or electric candles. These come in all sorts of fun and spooky colors and they can light through the night without worry.
- Don’t throw out your pumpkin seeds! Scoop them out, clean off the extra pumpkin, and toast them in the oven with a little bit of salt and oil. These become a tasty treat and a good way to fill up your trick-or-treaters before the big event.
Tricks and Treats
- Young witches, wizards, and werewolves under 12 should always be accompanied by an adult. Pin a slip of paper inside their costume or pocket with their name, address, and phone number in the event you are separated.
- For the older bunch make sure you agree on a trick-or-treating route and curfew ahead of time. Give the group at least one cell phone for emergencies. And go over the ground rules: stay together in the group, only walk on lit pathways, approach houses that have porch lights lit, and never enter a strangers home or car.
- Keep to your own neighborhood or friends and family when trick-or-treating. Even more fun: throw a trick-or-treat night party with your neighbors. The kids can show off their duds and the adults can have fun too!
- To make your house safe and fun, keep your sidewalk and porch clear and well lit. Keep any pets safely in the house and get ready to welcome all those tricksters!
Treats and Sweets
- Inspect all treats and candy before letting your mob dig in. Throw out any candies that are unwrapped, have loose wrapping, or look unusual in any way.
- To keep them from unwanted nibbling, give your kids a filling meal before they go out trick-or-treating and set ground rules that candy cannot be opened until it is brought home.
- To keep your kids from sugar overload, let them choose a few favorite pieces Halloween night, then ration the candy going forward. Candy swapping parents often have the ”Candy Fairy” visit to switch out junk for healthier candy options or toys and prizes. The extra candy can then be donated to various organizations like food pantries and non-profits that ship sweets to the troops.
- Offer up healthy alternatives at your own house including organic and allergy-friendly candy like Surf Sweets or even non-candy alternatives such as stickers or small toys. Your adult neighbors will thank you later!
The tips above will help you and your zombie horde be safe and happy this Halloween. Save the drama and anxiety for watching scary movies after the kids have put away their costumes and are tucked away in bed.
Do you have any tips for a safe, healthy, and fun Halloween? Share with us!