Awesome costumes, free candy, decorations that creep you out! As a kid, what could be more fun than Halloween?
But as a parent, what could be more nerve-racking than having those little goblins running loose in elaborate costumes in the dark, distracted by the fever-pitch excitement?
To keep your Halloween safe from things that go bump, we’ve put together seven tips for a safe Halloween:
’ em up first. Be sure kids don’t leave on an empty stomach. This will give them energy to burn during trick-or-treating and will limit the number of sweet treats they eat. See our Halloween Fun Meal Ideas collection to start the night off right.
Costume common sense. Masks that are hard to see out of, high heels and long capes or gowns can be an accident waiting to happen. Make sure your trick-or-treaters can easily see and walk in their Halloween get-ups.
Be visible. As night falls, make sure all kids and adults carry a flashlight, glow stick or flashing light.
Use street smarts. Have a planned route that everyone in the group knows. Also, it’s best to use the buddy system, making sure everyone sticks with a partner. To stay connected, encourage teens to partner up with a younger buddy and text or phone each other if they get separated.
Inspect the loot. It’s always best to inspect the handouts before eating. Toss any unwrapped or damaged candy.
Light your walkways. Think about the kids coming to your door and make it easy for them to find their way. Keep porch lights on, line your walkway with luminaries and keep pets inside.
Keep it short. Halloween activities should be kept short and age appropriate. Don’t overdo it. Between 15 and 30 minutes of trick-or-treating should be plenty of time for most kids to fill their loot sacks.
Not all kids are ready to handle your kitchen knives to carve up a jack-o'-lantern. Teens may be ready with some close adult supervision. But for kids under the age of 12, it’s best to find more kid-friendly pumpkin decorating ideas. To get you started, try these:
- Paint pumpkins with non-toxic, water-based paints.
- Use school glue to decorate pumpkins with sequins, buttons, felt or sea shells. Glitter glue adds nice colors.
- Purchase a pumpkin-carving kit with safe tools.
- Download one of our easy pumpkin carving templates. Let older kids trace the template onto the pumpkin with a push pin. Younger kids can pick their favorite character to download.
- Light pumpkins safely with battery-operated candles or Christmas lights inserted from the back or bottom.