This old Scottish saying captures the appropriate ambiance of Halloween: “From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!”
Parents need to be aware of the potential dangers that children can face trick-or-treating on Halloween if safety measures aren’t taken. One danger for children while trick-or-treating is the risk of not being seen by drivers. Parents should be sure their children wear costumes that are highly visible. Children should wear reflectors, and carry flashlights. Halloween-themed flashlights and reflectors can be purchased in most stores that sell Halloween paraphernalia.
Small children should never trick-or-treat without a supervising adult. Parents or some other responsible adult should accompany all children while trick-or-treating. Very young children need to have the parent or other responsible adult walk them up to the door. It is ok for older children to walk and trick-or-treat a house or two ahead, but they should always be within eyesight of their parents or other accompanying adult.
Some parents may elect to use some form of GPS tracking device that can be attached to the child’s costume or make using of the tracking feature on most cell phones. This would be one way to help locate a children who may have strayed away or got separated from their parents or accompanying adult.
Children, before going trick-or-treating, should learn about stranger safety and learn about the common predator lures. Such safety information is presented in a very kid-friendly way in my award-winning book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.
Finally, parents should inspect their children’s candy once the child gets home. Suspicious looking candy or candy that has open wrappers should be disposed of right away. Homemade treats should be disposed of, as well.
It’s important that children have a fun and memorable Halloween experience, but it’s even more important that they are kept safe in the process.
Picture credit: Nick Goodchild