Author: Alyssa Craig
It is October and there is one thing on every kid’s mind - Halloween is coming! As your little princesses and superheroes prepare for their night on the town, there are quite a few details to keep in mind. From picking a costume, to having the best treats, and knowing what to do once the festivities are over, there is a lot for you to consider. Use this guide to make sure you and your kids are ready for a safe and enjoyable night come All Hallow’s Eve!
For kids this is the most important part of the holiday (second maybe only to the candy). While they might have an idea in their minds of what they need to look like, as a parent you want to make sure they will also be safe as they go about trick or treating. As you put together your child’s costume, take some of these factors into account:
- Use bright colors that will make your child more visible in the dark.
- Buy costumes that are flame resistant.
- Consider using face paint rather than masks that may restrict visibility.
- If swords or other “weapons” are part of the costume, make sure they are not sharp and are age appropriate.
- If you live in a part of the country where it will be chilly (and maybe even snow!) use skin suits for layering underneath costumes, to help keep your kiddos warm while not covering up their costumes.
- Make sure the costume is short enough they won’t risk tripping over it while they walk.
Trick or Treating
While trick or treating is a beloved tradition, it usually takes place after dark and there are definitely safety concerns with so many young children running around. Follow these suggestions to keep your family safe.
- Put reflective tape on costumes or treat bags to make them more visible.
- Give each child a flashlight to carry.
- Always require children to go in groups. If an adult is not able to go, an older teenage sibling may also supervise.
- Teach children to walk and not run between houses.
- Only go to well-lit homes.
- Never enter the homes of strangers.
- Stay on the sidewalks as much as possible.
- Never accept rides from strangers.
- Check the candy for each of your children before they eat it.
In addition to safety concerns, there are some general tips for trick or treating that will make it more enjoyable for you as well! Make sure your children use the bathroom before you head out. This will remove (or at least reduce) the risk of an emergency potty break. Also consider feeding your children a healthy meal for dinner before going out, so they don’t jump into their bag of goodies simply out of hunger.
Best Treats to Hand Out
Since you will likely also be handing out Halloween treats, as well as partaking of the goodies, remember to hand out only factory wrapped candy, as this is the only candy you would safely feel good about your own children eating. If you would rather give out non-sweet treats, consider things like crackers, chips, raisins, or popcorn. You can even do non-food goodies, like fun Halloween themed rings or pencils.
Post Trick or Treating
Once the fun of going from house to house is complete and you now find yourself at home with massive amounts of candy, there are things you can do to help manage the load. First, sit down with your children and decide how many pieces of candy they will be allowed per day. Next, find a place to store the candy that is out of reach of the younger children. That will help to enforce the first rule.
If you want to be really aggressive about not having that much candy in the house, you can have your children set aside their favorite treats (and yours of course!) and then throw away the remainder. This will keep the whole family from mindlessly eating candy you don’t like anyway.
In light of the fact that you may allow your children to have some of their candy that night, or even other treats in addition to their loot, use this as a time to teach your children good dental hygiene. Dental health is key to many other aspects of health, so this may even be a good time to remember to schedule dental check ups for the whole family if it has been more than six months since the last appointment.
As you and your family prepare for this Halloween, make sure you keep safety and health in mind, just as much as fun and festivities. You will gain a greater peace of mind so you can enjoy the holiday, too!