From running down the sidewalks in full costume to filling pumpkin buckets with candy, trick-or-treating is a rite of passage. Halloween is around the corner and with that, it’s important to prepare and educate your children on trick-or-treating safety so you can relax and enjoy the spooktacular holiday, too.
Aside from reflective tape on costumes and walkie talkies, Halloween safety for some may also mean vigilance around food allergies, which are now estimated to affect roughly 2 children per classroom. Whether your child has an allergy or not, consider putting out a teal pumpkin, a campaign started by FARE (Food Allergy Research Education), with non-food and nut-free treats parents and children can know they can safely enjoy.
Natalie Thoni, MD, pediatrician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children shares her top Halloween safety tips and products for a fun Halloween night.
10 tips and product picks for Halloween safety
1. Go over a plan
If your child is old enough to trick-or-treat alone or even if they’ll have you or a chaperone, discuss what route they will be taking and what time they should return home. Encourage them to only trick-or-treat on well-lit streets and not to take any candy from strangers on the street or in cars. They should also be encouraged to stay with their group, remain on sidewalks, and avoid walking in the street. Alternatively, host a Halloween party instead for older kids and invite their friends.
2. Keep in touch
For younger kids that don’t have access to phones or smart watches, handing them a walkie talkie means you’ll be able to reach them if needed and vice versa. They can keep it in their candy bucket!
3. Stay hydrated
Wearing a costume and walking a lot can get hot and tiring. Have your child bring a water bottle with them to ensure they’re well hydrated.
Stainless steel water bottles for toddlers
4. Bring a wagon
For younger kiddos who might tire out easily, a family-friendly wagon is your best bet. Cramming kids in costumes into a stroller (all those straps!) can be trickier than you might think. Plus, they can easily hop in and out in between ringing doorbells.
Best stroller wagons
5. Don’t forget dinner
Prior to leaving the house, make sure your child has a good meal. When you return home from haunting, just let your child eat all the candy they want. (We know it sounds counterintuitive, but it works.)
Related: 10 deliciously simple 3-ingredient dinners
6. Make costumes glow
If your child’s costume is a dark color, add some reflective tape to the shoulders and sleeves, as well as shoes and bags. This will help drivers see your child if they are out trick-or-treating after dark.
7. Light up the night
Try a light up trick-or-treat bag to ensure they have a light on them at all times. Or give them glow stick bracelets or necklaces to wear.
8. Pack a flashlight
A flashlight is essential for both parents and children to see where they’re going when it’s dark out and signal to drivers you’re walking nearby.
9. Non-toxic face paint
Using non-toxic face paint can help complete their costume vision while avoiding face masks that may impair vision. From cat whiskers to Batman face masks, a little paint is all you need.
10. Check their stash
Once your little ghouls arrive home, have them spill out their candy stash so you can remove anything that might prove a choking or allergy hazard. You might want to keep a small selection of stickers on hand to swap in for candy they can’t keep!
A note from Motherly
Halloween should be fun and stress-free (minus some haunted houses or creepy costumes), so prepare accordingly and be sure to talk with your kiddos about trick-or-treating safety before the big night.