Hey there Smart Moms!
I love Halloween! October is probably my favorite time of year. I love the changing, falling leaves. I love pumpkin everything. I love the costumes on the 31st. I love the celebration of our very human trait of fear.
Think about it. Without fear would we really know safety and joy? Fear can also keep us safe or keep our senses acute when we are faced with something really difficult. Maybe Halloween isn’t your thing, but I think we can all appreciate the idea of trying to celebrate something that we usually think of as bad.
Maybe I’m getting too deep here for this post ha ha.
Let’s back up. Today I want to talk about ways to keep things fun but safe during Halloween.
No need to let fear control my life! All I have to do is be educated and be prepared…then have lots of fun! Hope these tips help you parents do the same!
Take Your Kids Trick Or Treating
I love walking over the leaf-strewn sidewalks in the evening with my little ones. I love seeing all the cute costumes and running into friends and neighbors.
It’s kind of a no-brainer to go out candy hunting with your kids. Not only do the kids love making memories with their parents, going trick or treating with your kids keeps them safe from possible predators or harmful tricksters (older kids perhaps). It also keeps them safe on the roads.
It’s win-win. Happy memories and safe memories.
We also make sure to only go to well-lit houses and usually in neighborhoods my husband and I know well.
We don’t eat any home-made treats unless it’s from a trusted source. There’s just too many questions I can’t answer with homemade treats as cute or good as they might seem.
I will also look over my kids’ candies and little toys briefly before they dig in. I don’t really put much stock into the Halloween myths of tampered candy. But I do like to be on the safe side. Thus, I do a quick safety inspection.
Practice Safe Walking
Yes, more drivers will be more cautious on Halloween…taking care not to run into any little trick or treaters. But you can’t bank on it.
Remember to keep an eye on your little ones and go over the rules of crossing the street before you head out for the evening. Remind them to look both ways and to keep an eye out as they cross.
If you get into a part with no sidewalks, then it’s best to walk as far off the road as possible and walk facing traffic.
For your older ones, remind them to keep off electronic devices and keep an eye on where they’re walking.
My neighbor’s daughter walked into a lamp pole last year while out with some friends because she was looking down at her phone. She got a pretty nasty gash above her brow. So just remind them to be aware of their surroundings.
It’s also a good idea to walk with a light, I use a flash light, when it gets dark to heighten visibility. If we cross some dark intersections or walk along dark sidewalks, the flash light keeps us from tripping over anything and also makes drivers aware of us.
Keep an eye out for everyone’s little witches and ghosts! ☺ There’s no knowing if a kid will run out into the street or if they even see you.
I always joke that you’ve got to assume no one else knows what they’re doing so you have to be twice as diligent and aware.
Take your time, drive slow, and take twice as long as intersections and such. Worth it to spend the extra time.
It’s a good idea to pull up along sidewalks rather than pull into driveways. Then you don’t have to worry as much about backing up over a sidewalk. You can just pull forward.
And, obviously, be aware of where your kids are when getting in and out of the car. I tell my kids to make lots of noise, so I know where they are and if they came back to the car earlier than I thought. We take the extra time to buckle up and close doors safely each time.
I know my little one pitched a fit last Halloween when I tried to fasten reflective tape onto his costume. They’ve never loved that stuff. A lot of time they feel like it takes away from their costume. In order to win this battle, I put the tape on their buckets, pillow cases, shoes, and anything else they would let me.
I also enjoy creatively thinking of how to make it make sense with their costume. If I can pitch it convincingly enough they usually go for it.
The reflective tape really adds to their visibility and just keeps them safer.
It’s also a good idea to keep costume accessories soft and flexible. One Halloween I gave my kid a wooden sword…yeah….my other child ended up with bruises along their shins and the night ended in tears. Ugh. Bad idea. I think it’s a better way to go to just keep it soft and simple.
We always shower after trick or treating or Halloween parties as well. I think it’s a good idea to wash off all that make up and spray. Even after I’ve tested them for allergic reactions and all that, my kids still seem to sleep and wake up better if they’re clean.
I’ve also heard it’s good to keep your costumes non-flammable if possible. Since there are candles and such often when we are out, I try to caution my kids about watching where capes and dresses go.
I think trick or treating is safe when we take the right precautions.
However, if you’re not into it, or if you live in an area you don’t trust. There are plenty of fun alternatives!
One Halloween, when visiting a relative in a city we weren’t familiar with, we had one of our favorite Halloweens ever. We went out for pumpkin shakes, came back to the apartment and played some games. Then followed it up with caramel popcorn and “scary” movie time.
Parties can be another excellent way to go. One year I just did a kid Halloween party at my house. We had a bunch of festival games and some little Halloween themed prized and candy for the winners of the games. It ended with a fun Halloween movie. Super fun!
Another year it snowed on Halloween and we didn’t want to go out in it. So instead we invited a couple close friends over to make Halloween cupcakes. The kids tried to have a snow ball fight with the little snow on the ground. It was a blast.
Trunk or treats are another way to keep kids safe. We do those sometimes with our neighborhood or church. Everyone will go park in a church or community parking lot and decorate their trunks all cute or scary. The kids then go around to the trunks in this safe, confined space with no traffic. We’ve always had fun doing trunk or treats.
Safe Older Kids
I have two older kids that are getting away from wanting to spend Halloween with the family and instead want to do parties or hang out with friends.
We just lay down the usual rules and expect (and trust!) them to follow them. We know how far we can trust our kids from past experiences and our relationships built. If a child has broken rules or curfew prior, they might be grounded or have stricter rules enforced. If a child has been good and trustworthy then they have a lot more flexibility.
When it comes down to it, the same rules that keep them safe any other day keep them safe on Halloween. They know what’s ok and what’s expected of them. We haven’t ever had a bad incident with them thankfully! And I don’t think we will.
My kids are required to check in with phone call or text frequently. As a rule of thumb I tell them not to do anything they’d feel ashamed, embarrassed, or worried about telling me about.
When they come home we always take time to talk to them about what they did in a fun conversation so that there is a lot of open communication.
Eat and Sleep
Maybe this doesn’t fall under a safety topic…
Doesn’t matter. It’s still important for Halloween!
Filling up with a tasty, warm, healthy meal before trick or treating helps my kids keep away from filling up on sugar and junk food. This also keeps them sane and level-headed (no sugar-highs or crashes).
I also have my kids give me their candy when we’re done. After I briefly inspect it, I keep their candy in individual jars that they are allowed to get into a certain amount of times a day. This also helps steer them away from eating too much candy all at once.
And sleep is super important especially for little ones. And, not going to lie, I like having my scary movie time alone with my husband. So we make sure they’re all showered and in bed by a reasonable time.
However, you’re celebrating Halloween this year, whatever ages you’re celebrating with, I hope you have a fantastic and safe holiday!
Comment below with any safety tips or Halloween-know-how you have! I love to learn from my readers.
Also if you have any good stories or jokes I love reading those as well.
Street Smart Favorites
So as you all know, I love buying everything in bulk, and Halloween candy is no exception. Be sure to get your candy early, while all the best pre-Halloween deals are going on! No one wants to be the house that ran out of candy!