Halloween is only two days away, which means many families are planning to hit their neighborhood streets in search of free candy and plenty of kid-friendly fun. However, we all know that the holiday can also be a bit chaotic and that accidents can happen, so let's take a look at some tips that will keep your little ones safe as they dash from door to door in their costumes.
Make sure that everyone understands they should stay with a group. Whether your kids are trick-or-treating with the family or with their friends, impress upon them the importance of sticking together. No one should be wandering around alone after dark.
Remind children that the sidewalks are safe but the streets are not. Excited kids often dash across yards and speed to the next house on Halloween, but they need to be aware of how crosswalks work and where they can safely walk. Roughly 3,800 Halloween-related injuries happen every year, which is why young children should be accompanied by an adult and older children need to stick to well-paved sidewalks.
Only accept candy in sealed wrappers. Although some people like to hand out homemade goods, the CDC has recommended tossing those and sticking with store-bought candy. This will help prevent the transfer of germs, as well as accidental allergic reactions.
Wear glow-in-the-dark accessories so that drivers can see you. Children are twice as likely to be killed in traffic accidents on this holiday, so it pays to be overprotective when it comes to safety on sidewalks and roads. You can snag glowing necklaces and bracelets from Walmart for cheap. If accessories aren't your thing, at least carry a flashlight so that drivers know where you're walking as you cross streets in the dark.
Avoid entering any stranger's home or car. Children usually know to steer clear of strangers, but on Halloween, the lines between friendly neighbors and strangers can blur. Teach them to stick to doorsteps and to decline any offers to enter homes they aren't familiar with.
Are you going trick-or-treating with kids this year? Where are you going and how are you taking steps to stay safe?