When I think of Halloween, a lot comes to mind. I think about all the cute costumes, fun Fall decorations, visiting the pumpkin patch, the basic PSL from Starbucks that us Vegans can’t drink.. and lots of candy. Halloween feels completely different now that I’m adult with kids, rather than back in the day trick or treating. Growing up in Iowa I was used to trick-or-treating while wearing mass amounts of layers, or indoors at the local mall. We actually sweat during Halloween here in Arizona and I dread going to the local pumpkin patch because of how hot it is. Back to the topic – lets focus on how I plan to keep my kids safe this year!
1. Take a look at your child’s candy. Yes, I’m going to get this out of the way because guess what I found last year in Jaxon’s bag? HALL’S COUGH DROPS! I knew exactly what house it came from, and yes they were elderly and probably got confused. Not only would that have been unsafe to give my toddler, but would have caused a COMPLETE meltdown due to the mint. Make sure you examine all candy and throw away anything that isn’t individually packaged; or in our case could be a choking hazard.
2. Ditch the black clothing. We usually try to trick-or-treat earlier in the evening but it usually starts to get dark by the time we’re heading home. Try to avoid dark colors or use reflective tape/bike lights to stick out. Even using glow sticks/jewelry can be a fun idea!
3. Talk about a meeting location. Some parents do let their older children who are old enough, go out trick-or-treating on their own. Have them plan a meeting location with their friends, or you, incase something happens. Another idea is practicing a route with younger kids or for children with special needs. They can get a run down of how Halloween night will go and you are able to point out a safety location in case they get overwhelmed or you become separated. Practice crossing the street at crosswalks and staying on the sidewalks!
4. Write your contact information down! Touching on the topic of becoming separated, or something happening to an older child (heaven forbid), try to write down your name/ number, as well as your child’s name somewhere visible! A good place could be on a wristband or on their trick-or-treat bag. Anytime we go to a museum or water park with wristbands, I make sure to do this! Have your child try to memorize their phone number and know you’re real name!! Not just being able to say that it’s “mommy” or “daddy” if they ever get close.