It’s no surprise that some people find Halloween to be one of their favorite times of the year. When else do kids and adults get to dress up as anything from angels to zombies?
Despite the usual run of Halloween parties for grownups, the night belongs mostly to the children. That’s why it’s especially important to take steps to make sure the evening doesn’t take a turn in a truly scary direction. MONI is concerned with everyone’s safety – even when they’re outside the home – so here are five tips for keeping kids safe on the scariest night of the year.
Start with a safe costume
While it’s tempting for children to dress up in dark colors as witches or zombies, it also makes them difficult for drivers to see. Encourage lighter-colored costumes. If that doesn’t work, use reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark face paint if possible. Also, discourage costumes that have masks or hoods that restrict vision. It’s just as important to see as it is to be seen.
Stay in a familiar area
Once the trick-or-treating starts, Halloween is hectic enough without losing your way. Try to stay in your own neighborhood so you don’t get turned around, and so your kids know where they are at any given time. If you do have to go outside of your neighborhood, go to an area that’s well-known by friends or family members who are willing to walk with you. And if your trick-or-treaters get separated, decide beforehand on a meeting place that everyone knows.
Check the bag
Part of the fun for adults is being able to poach goodies out of the bag once the kids get home. But that’s also a good chance to check out everything they’ve gotten. Unsealed candies or ripped packages should be sorted out. Also, be wary of any homemade goods, even if they’re from known sources like neighbors or family members. Even if they’re safe, they may contain allergens such as peanuts that could cause severe reactions in children.
Set limits for older kids
Parents typically know when their kids are old enough or responsible enough to trick-or-treat on their own with friends. If let them venture on their own, make sure they’ll be in a group and not traveling solo. Cellphones are great, but establish tight geographic boundaries so they can easily be located; it’s more important than ever that they stay in an area they know. Finally, establish a firm time when they’re supposed to be home.
Discourage any tricks
Halloween is mostly about treats, but there can be an occasional trick thrown in. Older kids may feel bold enough to cover a tree in toilet paper, throw eggs at a garage door or put shaving cream in a mailbox. Make sure your kids understand that it’s likely to land them in hot water with an angry homeowner, neighborhood security, or even the local police. That’s no treat for a parent or child.
If you’re concerned about becoming a victim of a prank, live video is your best friend, whether it’s a SkyBell HD video doorbell or an outdoor video camera. Monitor your home from your smartphone if you’re out with the kids, or keep an eye on the front yard while you’re relaxing on the couch waiting for the next round of trick-or-treaters. And even if you don’t catch pranksters in the act, you may be able to identify them with recorded video.