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  • Scary costumes.
  • Bags of candy.
  • Halloween decorations.

The countdown to Halloween is well underway.  Here are a few considerations for your checklist before you send your little ghosts and goblins out for the evening:

How safe is the costume?  Boys love dressing up as the Grim Reaper or some ghoul.  If their costume is all black put a few pieces of light-reflective tape on the front and back.   Make the tape “cool” by designing it as a symbol or wording.  You can also purchase some glow bracelets or necklaces.  Most schools won’t allow them to bring any weapon, spear or walking stick so find out first what’s permissible.

Use make-up rather than a mask for your kids.  A mask can slip making it hard for them to see as their walking and also the rubber inside the mask can make it hard for them to breathe.

Be sure that if the costume is to the floor that’s it’s not too long and can cause them to trip.  Check for loose cords or strings around their neck that could get caught on something as they’re walking.

Are they ready to go it alone? At some point it just won’t be cool to be out trick-or-treating with mom or dad.  So how do you know if they’re ready to go out on their own?  A lot depends on where they are going.  An apartment building or housing community located on a cul-de-sac is much safer than a busy road or remote area where there’s little lighting and the homes are spread out.  Perhaps drive them to a housing complex where you wait at the end of the street while they go trick-or-treating.  Be sure you know their route, who they are going out with (always go in a group) and they have a cell phone in case of an emergency. Establish a curfew and a few times that they must check in with you.

Host a party – Rather than having them go out trick-or-treating, consider hosting a party.  You’ll know where they are, who they’re with and can control the time.

PumpkinCheck the loot – Remind kids to only eat candy that’s unopened and in its original wrapper.  Children under five years of age should not be allowed to eat hard candy, caramels, popcorn or items with nuts as these are all choking hazards.

Light it up – Make sure your home is well lit outside to prevent falls and trips.  Motion sensors such as the ones with COX Homelife will allow for lights to automatically turn on when someone enters the driveway or walkway.

Most importantly, remind your child never to get into a car with someone they don’t know.  If someone approaches them, and they feel at all uncomfortable, explain to them that they should go to the nearest lit home and ring the door.



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