Without a doubt, Halloween is one of the most fun holidays for kids (and a lot of grownups). The costumes and treats that make it so exciting, however, do present the potential for risk that parents need to manage. The good news is that it only takes a few common sense steps to ensure a safe, enjoyable holiday.

Sweet Safety
The impulse to start eating candy as soon as it’s in the bag is undeniable. We always recommend making children wait until you’ve had a chance to inspect their treats back at home before letting them indulge.
You can help make it easier for ancy children to wait by feeding them a snack or dinner before heading out. Don’t send them out trick-or-treating or to a Halloween party on an empty stomach. You may even want to consider giving them a piece or two of candy from what you’ll be giving out. It can help curb the compulsion to dig in right away.

Of course, if your child has a food allergy, the need to inspect it before eating is all the more important. Carry a couple of allergen-free treats while out trick-or-treating in case they’re needed. We also recommend against letting a child with allergies eat any homemade treats.

Street Safety
Unfortunately, pedestrian injuries are common on Halloween. With a little extra attention we can easily make interactions with cars and general obstacles a non-issue. Visibility is one of the most important factors for trick-or-treaters. It’s one of your duties as a parent to be creative with how you can illuminate your children.

Flashlights and glow sticks are two tried and true methods. It’s also easy to add reflective tape and stickers to bags, shoes and backs without disrupting their costumes. Face paint provides better, unobstructed sight than masks. And while a lot of costumes can run in darker tones, there are often multiple versions of any given character. When possible, nudge your kids toward the brighter, more colorful versions of their costume.

Beyond costumes and accessories, simply do your best to ensure everyone follows common expectations and maintains general awareness of their surroundings. When available, always use sidewalks and crosswalks. Stay in a big group to increase your visibility. Most importantly, never assume a driver sees you.

If you have older kids, sketch out where they’re going and who they’re going with. Remind them to follow expected pedestrian behavior and to be aware of cars that are turning or backing up.

Don’t Worry, Be Scary
Despite all of the concern over keeping your children safe, it’s important to embrace the holiday and let kids (and adults) be kids. With a little attention and preparation, you can easily keep your family safe while letting imagination and mischief run wild. Stay safe and have a happy Halloween!