Staying safe on halloween night can often come down to having the right costume—while dark and scary are the vibe many kids go for on halloween, there are ways to keep them safer when darting through the streets in search of candy.
Dark, bright, bold, and light
When I was a kid, we regularly got clip-on flashing red lights for our halloween costumes before halloween, given out by Manitoba Public Insurance. Intended for cyclists, these lights as well as glow sticks, flashlights (on wrist straps or lanyards!) or other bright costume accessories can help ensure kids are highly visible to cars while crossing the street in the darkness of Halloween night. Adding reflective adhesive or iron-on strips to their costumes can also help make sure oncoming traffic can see children as they amble about—sometimes unexpectedly. And of course, children with medical conditions or allergies should always wear their medical ID bracelet or necklace with their costume!
Keep your eyes peeled
Keep your eyes open and be aware of where children are, who else is around, and what other hazards they may encounter—sticking to sidewalks instead of cutting across lawns can avoid a lot of hazards! Ensure kids are well supervised and that they know what to do if they become lost from the group. While likely less cool in 2018, I remember my friends and I using walkie talkies while playing in the neighbourhood in the late 90s—this can be a cheaper alternative to providing young kids with cell phones, and can be a lot of fun on Halloween night (and other times!). Keeping your eyes open for your children, their friends, and other kids in the neighbourhood can keep Halloween safe and fun for all.
Rules about treats
Ensuring kids know not to eat treats until they are home isn’t hard, but making sure they actually follow through can be! If you have concerns about children eating treats that haven’t been checked by an adult, send a few safe treats from home with them or the adult accompanying them. Again, kids’ medical ID jewelry can help speak for your child if they are unable to speak for themselves, and can remind adults caring for them about their needs.
For children with food allergies, if you are not with them, ensure the adult accompanying your child knows how to deal with an allergic reaction. Older children with food allergies are likely more diligent about not eating food before it has been deemed safe by a parent, but littler ones may have trouble remembering with the sight of all that candy. Having an adult carry the candy between houses can help keep little hands away from the treats if they simply can’t resist. (As a non-safety bonus for adults, this may help you get house-to-house quicker!).
Have a safe and healthy halloween!