It’s important to have an open dialog with your students so that that they know how to be safe – while still having fun – on Halloween. Sometimes, having an open dialog with your students can seem daunting. So, we asked 5 safety experts to share their best Halloween safety tips. Learn how to prepare kids for Halloween by creating a safe walking route, teaching them to be aware of their surroundings, downloading safety apps, and ensuring their phone is charged all night.
Also, hear from American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology about how your family can help kids with food allergies join in the trick-or-treating fun.
1. Plan a safe walking route
Sage Singleton, SafeWise
Halloween is an exciting holiday where kids can become their favorite characters, eat sweets, and stay up way past their bedtimes. However, there are some hazards that parents should prepare for to keep their children safe on all Hallow’s Eve.
- Be seen
- Stay in a group
- Be aware of stranger danger
Many costumes are made from dark materials, making it hard for driver’s to see them as they walk in neighborhoods. Kids should carry glow sticks or flashlights while trick-or-treating so they are visible and stay safe. Also, plan out a safe walking route so children are aware of dangerous areas (i.e. highways, streets without sidewalks or streetlights, construction).
Travel in a flock this Halloween. Always walk with your younger children and toddlers. If your pre-teen or teens want to go out alone, make sure they stay in a group at all times.
While kids are walking up to strangers doors and asking for candy, it’s essential they know not to enter any one’s home or get into the car of any stranger. Teach children what they can and cannot do and who they can and cannot talk to on Halloween. Also, keep in mind that if a home has their lights off, it’s safe to avoid that home and move on to the next well-lit and inviting home.
2. Utilize portable phone chargers
Katie Rose Cronin, PowerCore
So many kids have phones these days and there’s nothing worse then them being on foot, on Halloween night, not having a charged phone to call home for a ride. These are cheap, can be tossed in a pocket or trick-or-treating bag and couldn’t be easier to use!
3. Teach kids to be aware of their surroundings
Cassandra Weller, Krav Maga Worldwide
Plan a route ahead of time and choose a meeting time and spot. This comes in handy if a child is separated from the group. Be mindful of costumes: Comfortable shoes, flame retardant costume, prop safety, forgo masks and use face paint for better sight and breathing.
In the event your child is separated, before going out, put your name and number on your child’s hand and seal it with liquid Band-Aid so it stays put. Send kids with a reflector strip, glow sticks, or flashlights. Talk to kids about knowing their surroundings. This is the most important lesson to teach kids. By explaining to them that they need to be fully aware when they are alone can avert dangerous situations from happening. One example of this can be telling your kids to leave headphones off when walking around the neighborhood. Explain that using all of your senses is very important.
4. Give your children a Halloween safety recap
Anushree Sharma, Life360
Use family location apps to receive notifications when your child leaves the trick-or-treat zone. Do your research to find a safe, well-lit and less-trafficked neighborhood. Group Chat with the parents of all your child’s friends to discuss neighborhood location.
Use flashlights and reflective patches: Arm your kids with flashlights and light up costume props. Put reflective bands/tape on your child’s costumes and candy bags! Give your children a safety recap. Prior to trick-or-treating, be sure to sit down with your kid so they are clear on the rules of the road.
5. Place teal pumpkins in front of your house to let trick-or-treaters know you have safe, non-food treats
- Ensure treats are allergy-friendly before consuming
- Be prepared
- Make costumes allergy-friendly
- Teal pumpkins represent allergy-friendly homes
For kids, candy is often the focus of Halloween. Unfortunately, many of the fun-size treats aren’t labeled for allergens, and if there’s no label, it isn’t safe for your child with food allergies. Tell your children it’s fine to say no thank you to treats they know aren’t safe for them. Have them bring all treats home for you to check before they take a bite. You can also drop off safe treats for your child with neighbors and at school.
Take along your own trick or treat bag and fill it with supplies. If your child has asthma, bring along their inhaler. Running door-to-door through smoke machines and kicking up moldy leaves can cause asthma symptoms. if your child has food allergies, make sure you have two epinephrine auto injectors. And carry your cell phone in case you need to make an emergency call. You could even carry safe treats in case your food-allergic child wants something to munch on before they get home.
You don’t have to sew every inch of your child’s costume to add some allergy-friendly details. If your child has a metal allergy, consider adding gloves to the costume. Hypoallergenic makeup is a good idea if your child has eczema or other skin allergies. Better yet, steer clear of make-up entirely. Some store-bought costumes contain latex and other synthetic dyes that may cause irritation or an allergic reaction, so read the garment labels. Masks can cause problems for kids with asthma, so either skip it entirely, or if a hat works for the costume, go that route instead.
You may think pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns should be exclusively orange, but consider going teal this year. Food Allergy Research & Education encourages awareness of food allergies by placing teal pumpkins in front of your house to let trick-or-treaters know you have safe, non-food treats. A teal pumpkin and non-food treats are a friendly way to help kids with food allergies join in the trick-or-treating fun.