Hitting the streets once a year, dressed like astronauts or princesses, is one of the joys of childhood. Chances are, your kids are looking forward to trick-or-treating this year. You’re probably excited about it, too, ready to help your kids enjoy the holiday to the fullest. Cool costumes, a great place to trick-or-treat and maybe a few spooky songs are all great ways to get in the spirit. It’s also really important to address safety issues to reduce the risk that comes with all that fun and sugar.
In some ways, trick-or-treating can be quite dangerous. That isn’t because of the sugar crash at the end of the right. Its because children will likely be crossing the road repeatedly in the dying light of an October afternoon and evening. Dark costumes, low light and peak excitement can easily combine into a tragedy. Making sure safety is a priority helps everyone, including parents, enjoy the fun.
Make sure kids know to respect the road
Younger kids, even if accompanied by parents, can get swept up in the fun of running door-to-door. Make sure all your kids know to cross the street with an adult or with a group of friends after checking both ways first. Similar caution should be given to driveways and parking lots. Remind your older children and teenagers going out without direct supervision that texting and walking is dangerous.
Loitering in the streets also shouldn’t happen. Make sure everyone understands to cross and then talk on the other side. Taking pictures, joking and otherwise treating the street like a sidewalk can end poorly if someone comes up the street or around a corner suddenly.
Visibility can reduce pedestrian risks
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of an accident with a vehicle is to use lights or reflectors in your children’s costumes. There are also light-up headbands or necklaces that can alert drivers to the presence of young candy-seekers nearby. Failing to make children visible could result in tragedy.
If your kids refuse lights or reflectors or simply can’t incorporate them into a costume, carrying a flashlight may be a good option. One to a group is fine, as long as everyone understands that the light should be shone down at the ground and not into vehicle windows, potentially blinding people behind the wheel.
Respecting the road can keep everyone safe
Trick-or-treating should be a fun way for children to let off steam and celebrate a spooky holiday. By going over safety rules, setting a curfew and making sure your kids respect the rules of the road, you can help ensure that everyone has a safe and fun evening out. That way, the only thing to worry about is the extra calories from sneaking some of the candy when the kids are in bed.