I have never been a huge fan of Halloween until I had children. Now with two children of my own, this day is full of so much excitement. We look forward to the costumes, fun activities, lit up neighborhoods, and the anticipation of sorting through all the goodies at the end of the night.
Unfortunately, even with all this excitement we as parents must be vigilant and teach our children to be safe. When you move to a new neighborhood or decide to venture out to a different one for the day, you have to be cautious as you don’t really know the area very well.
Here are a few safety reminders while taking out the kids this Halloween.
Plan Ahead. Don’t go to an area you don’t know without a map of the neighborhood. You should scope out the nearest hospital, police station and public transportation in case of an emergency. Teach children street names or where to meet in case you are separated. Also ensure all cell phones are fully charged, and always carry a flashlight. Another fun option for the kids are glow sticks that you can carry, or wear around your neck. This will help ensure the kids are seen at night.
Know Your Area Trick-or-Treat Times. Today, certain neighborhoods have designated times in which children are allowed to trick-or-treat. Know the times and don’t let children go out before or after those times. The police typically do stop you if you are not within the town hours, plus - you may annoy the neighbors.
Don’t Go Traditional. Who says you have to go door-to-door? How about a trunk-to trunk, or store-to-store? Some great safety and weather friendly alternatives are local organizations that hold parking lot trunk-or-treating. This is especially safer for those little ones that tend to wander. Did you know that malls also participate in passing out candy? This can be great if the weather doesn’t cooperate, or you just aren’t feeling comfortable with heading out to the streets with small ones.
Stay Away from the Dark Homes. If the lights are out, the residents are either not home or don’t want to participate. Get children in the habit of never walking up to a dark house, or any areas where there is no light or other people.
Go in Groups. Each year we round up my sister, her family and my neighbors to trick-or-treat with us. Other than it is super fun, we walk in a large group and have the smaller children walk right in the middle of our group. This way we always have our eyes on them and there is a smaller chance of someone wandering off.
Wait for Your Buddy. I always group the kids off with a candy buddy. The rule is you walk together at all times. When your buddy is still at the top of the steps getting a piece of candy, you wait and walk back down together. A good tip is to keep them with someone at all times.
Always Check the Candy Bag. I feel like this is one of those tips that we have all heard for ages. While it is such a treat for the kids to dump their candy bag to check out their goodies, don’t ever let a child consume candy without an adult properly checking all wrappers. Ensure there is nothing open or pieces in which it may seem someone has tampered with. Also, baked items are a big no-no in my home. If we do not know the family, we don’t eat it. It is a sweet gesture, but better safe than sorry.
Trick-or-treating is a fun time for children and these tips are not meant to scare you, but to be aware and teach children to do the same. Better to be safe so that you and your children can have an enjoyable time. Happy Halloween!
About the blogger:
Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband of 11 years and two children.
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