Ghouls and ghosts. Witches and werewolves. Not to mention spiders, skeletons, and skulls. That spooky night is almost here!
If you’re like most families, your kids have their costumes prepared and you’ve loaded up on candy. If you were industrious, you may even have carved a pumpkin and toasted the seeds. You feel ready—but wait. Do you know how to keep everyone safe this Halloween? Here are some tips that can help.
Check Those Costumes
For many kids and adults, Halloween is all about the costumes. Have fun creating them but make sure to follow some guidelines.
- Avoid costumes with long flowing sleeves or capes. These can get caught on trees or brush up against lit jack-o’-lanterns. Instead, make sure the goblins’ get-ups fit well and don’t drag on the ground, which could result in trips and falls.
- Be sure that all the costumes are flame-resistant. Remember—this is a night of candles and luminaries.
- Props can be fun, but make sure swords and scythes are made out of flexible plastic. Sharp points can hurt other trick-or-treaters.
- Avoid masks if you can, but if you just have to have them, make sure the eye holes are big enough for the wearers to see out.
- Clown shoes and oversized heels might seem perfect, but they’re not comfortable. Be sure you and your kids wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes that hold up all night.
- Add reflective strips, glowing stickers, or shiny jewelry to your kids’ costumes. This will enable drivers see them better, and it will help you find them if you get separated. Carrying flashlights is a good idea, too.
Make a Plan
- If you have younger kids (under age 14), be sure you go with them when they trick-or-treat.
- If your kids are old enough to go without you, create a route beforehand. Make sure they stay with their group and follow the route. This will help you find them if you need to. Also have them carry cell phones in case of emergency.
- Trick-or-treat only in neighborhoods you’re familiar with, and stick with houses that are well lit.
- Remind your kids never to go into a stranger’s house while trick-or-treating. It’s better to stay on the porch, where people on the street can see them. Likewise, if you’re answering the door at home, make sure you never let strangers in. If you suspect a problem, call for help right away.
- Make every effort to stay on sidewalks and driveways. If you have no choice but to walk in the road, stay far to one side, walking against traffic. Also be sure to cross streets only at corners.
- Talk to your kids ahead of time, and make sure they know that Halloween “tricks” (meaning vandalism) are not okay. Discourage them from egging houses, toilet-papering trees, and the like.
Organize the Loot
If you hit the whole neighborhood—and you have leftovers at home—by the end of the night, you may have a huge collection of candy. Here’s what to do with your Halloween haul.
· Remember to tell your kids never to eat candy before you’ve checked it. Make sure you throw away anything that looks tampered with or opened. Toss all homemade items unless you know and trust the people who made them.
· For many kids, Halloween means candy. Let them have a few treats that night. But then store the rest for future occasions. No one needs all that sugar in one sitting.
· Talk to your kids about giving some of the candy away. Your dentist might be participating in a buy-back program that sends treats to members of the armed forces. It can be a great lesson about sharing.
To learn more about keeping your family safe, contact the Children’s Center at Plantation General Hospital. Visit us online or call Consult-A-Nurse® at 1-866-442-2362. Serving Plantation and Central Broward County, we’re here to answer all your questions.