Tips For Fun And Safe Trick Or Treating

Written by

James Kicinski-McCoy and Mindy White

1:40 pm
10/23/14

Photography by James Kicinski-McCoy

Halloween is just around the corner, and whether you have small, first-time trick or treater or a seasoned Halloween lover on your hands, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead to avoid any fun-spoiling mishaps. By following our very simple suggestions below, you should have a seamless (and tear-free) evening of candy collecting!

Shop right. Purchase costumes and accessories that has flame-resistant labeling. Although the label doesn’t confirm that these item won’t catch fire, it does indicate that they will resist burning, and should extinguish quickly. Avoid costumes that are baggy and round to minimize the risk of fabric catching flame through nearby candles and lit jack-o’-lanterns.

Test makeup. Before applying any makeup or hairspray for your child’s costume, do a spot-test in a small area to ensure there is no reaction. Also, be sure to completely remove any make up before your kiddo’s bedtime to avoid skin irritations.

Supervise. Children should always be accompanied by an adult when trick or treating. If you have older kids that want to go out with friends, make sure they stay in a close-knit group, that you know where they will be at all times, and that they have a cellphone on them.

Check costumes. Long skirts, pants, or capes can catch onto bushes or decorations, and can be a tripping hazard. Adjust costumes beforehand to avoid any accidents along the way. Children should wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes, breathable masks, and secure hats and scarves to ensure adequate visibility.

Avoid props. If your child’s costume won’t be complete without a carry-along prop, make sure it’s made of soft materials, such as foam, rubber, or plastic. Choose a prop that won’t cause injury to your child or their friends.

Stay armed. Maybe you’re not a serial-picture-taking-mom, but keep your phone on you while house-hopping in case of any emergencies.

Be seen. Have each child wear something bright, such as a flashlight, glow bracelet, necklace, or reflective tape. Flashing attire is another great choice for visibility, like light-up shoes. They’re very noticeable on a dark Halloween night.

Plan a route. Trick or treating goes by fast, and usually doesn’t last longer than an hour when you’re with small kids. But even in such a short period of time, you can easily end up several streets away from home, causing sore legs and frustration later. Map out a solid neighborhood route before leaving to avoid getting lost or too far from home. Also, only visit houses that are lit and inviting to speed things along.

Don’t assume. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick or treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean that the others will! Always remember the golden rule: Look and listen before crossing the street.

Check candy. Don’t let your kids eat any candy until you return home to sort through it. Be sure to throw away any pieces that are not in their original wrappers, look as though they may have been opened, or doesn’t look like the normal product. Only eat securely wrapped candy and avoid eating any homemade treats.

Keep track of time. Start house-hopping right as the sun sets. As a general rule, don’t trick or treat after 9 p.m. This will allow ample time for children to trick or treat. Plus, by then, the candy and treats have run out, and most of your little monsters will be exhausted.

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