In just 8 short days it will be Halloween, a time of ghosts, ghouls and goblins; candy; playing dress up; and the smiles on children’s faces. As parents, you will take the time to make sure your little prince or princess is the most adorable little haunt out there in trick-or-treat land and you’ll lay down the safety rules in advance, preaching to look both ways before crossing the street, stay alert and do NOT eat any candy until you’ve had time to check it.
You’re probably so worried about the safety of your children that you aren’t worried about the safety and security of yourself. However, this should be a top priority, too, because while you’re out trick or treating with your kiddos, if something happened to you, this could result in major tragedy.
Here are 6 tips to make sure parents stay safe during Halloween:
Plan a route in advance. Include paths that you are most familiar with to avoid dark alleys or getting lost in the dark. Getting lost in the dark could cause major panic and once you’re at this stage, your alertness wavers, which can cause you (and your children) to become an easy target.
Bring a high-powered flashlight. Consider purchasing a flashlight with LEDs, which put off a stream of crisp light. Be sure to stay well-lit so that you children can easily find you. Also, if you see something that just doesn’t look right, shine the flashlight on it to make sure it’s safe to proceed.
Don’t trick or treat after 9:30pm. Usually, the later it gets, the more meanness and mischief there is. Besides, your little ghosts are probably tired anyway, and ready to go home and inspect their stash.
Put reflective tape or festive Halloween stickers on your arms or legs. Believe it or not, people drive even though they know kids will be running around through the streets during Halloween. Just as you have made sure your child is well-lit, purchase some reflective tape and put it on both of your arms and legs to make sure drivers can easily see you.
Always walk on sidewalks or established paths. Never walk in the street, even if you have your flashlight, reflective tape and your neighborhood has the streets blocked off. You are setting an example for your children, and if they think walking in the street is ok if no cars are there, you could be setting them and yourself up for disaster.
No sidewalks or paths in your neighborhood? Walk facing traffic as far to the side as possible.
Pin contact information inside clothes. Write your name, address and phone number on a small piece of paper with ink that won’t smudge. Use a safety pin to pin it inside your child’s shirt. (Do not put it inside pockets because there’s a good chance it will fall out.) Explain to your child that if you get separated, your address and phone number are on the tag inside their shirt.
Do the same for yourself. Should you and your children get separated, you will go into a sheer panic and this vital information will be readily available to officers, if needed. And, your child will probably be inconsolable and crying, so this is a way for adults to help your child find you.