Ooh I love Halloween. Love. And so do my kids because I've been raising them right! ;) Anyways, with Halloween right around the corner I wanted to share what I consider to be "Halloween Safety" for our littles. I remember back when I was old enough to go trick or treating alone, which back in the day was pretty darn young. I probably was in 4th or 5th grade when a friend and I went out alone. The thought terrifies me now because I remember my friend and I would go miles, and miles away from our home. We were on a mission to get a lot of candy, and that meant hitting up a lot of homes. We went out far, and pretty late. We probably were some of the last kids out, and now looking back I can't believe how terrified my parents would have been if they knew! And I think of how lucky I was that nothing happened to me! Especially in the time of no cell phones! Oh my. With Noelle and Halle being so young, it's a good idea to have some rules in place. Here are my personal safety rules and suggestions:
1. Always with a responsible adult! This means a parent, or guardian that can deal with emergencies! It's pretty obvious when littles are out and about trick or treating in the dark that they need to be with a guardian, but I think many of us forget that a teenage babysitter isn't quite the same as an adult who can deal with emergencies. Halloween is a tricky holiday because while it may be fun and full of treats, it can also sometimes be full of tricks. Sadly, we have to consider groups of people who may want to scare our children, or pull of dangerous or scary pranks. Being with a responsible adult is completely necessary for Halloween.
2. The more the merrier! If you are going out at night, try to go in groups! I personally think the more kids and the more parents, the better. No one is going to mess with your entourage.
Moms, so many moms.
3. Know where you are going, and let others know where you are. This is easier nowadays with cell phones, but it's still a really good idea to know where you are going ahead of time and let others know too. Do you plan on going through your neighborhood and maybe the one across the road? Do you plan on hitting up the 4 blocks on your street? Or are you going to a whole different neighborhood because yours doesn't have that many young kids in the area? You need to have a plan, so you know where you will be. It's good too in case you are separated from your group.
Treats at ECFE and mommy and me classes are a safe bet for your youngest trick or treaters.
4. Consider going to public places. What I mean by this is consider going to obvious public and safe places to trick or treat, like your local mall, your church's "Trick of Trunk" (many churches do this), grocery stores, or school or community events (like Como Zoo's "Zoo Boo" or your local community center's event). All of these places will be very well lit, if not in a completely lit area, and everyone will be checked at the entrance, and all the candy will have been inspected prior passing out. This is really your safest bet, and the easiest way to introduce trick or treating to your youngest children. I did this with Noelle up until age 3. Four years old is when we finally let her go outside for Halloween.
At a public Halloween event, you will be sure to know where your candy came from.
Your child won't care if they are trick or treating in a well lit shopping mall! It's all about the candy!
Community center trick or treating!
5. Know the universal Halloween rules, and teach them to your kids! Lights off = no candy. Do not come. Lights on = all is good, come on over! And never, ever enter a house unless you personally know the home owner! No matter how nice someone is and wants to invite you in to see their "haunted house" or whatever, just politely decline! If you don't know them, don't enter! And lastly, tell your kids the rule that usually is the hardest to follow: Do not eat any candy until you are home! Why? Because you need to inspect them before your kids can start eating them! Usually if it's a candy that isn't commercially wrapped, I toss it. If I can't tell if those caramels or store bought or homemade, I just play it safe ad discard it. Sure, it could have been homemade by a lovely grandma, and delicious, but if I don't know where it came from, I'm not going to give it to my child. Especially if your child has allergies. You just don't know because homemade could really have ANYTHING in it.
6. Be respectful. Sure, it's Halloween and it's a time where the streets are full of goblins and witches flying about, but I still tell my kids to stay off yards, even if others aren't. Be respectful! Do not take shortcuts, run through people's yards, trample gardens, or anything else. Use the street, sidewalks, and driveways. Those areas are safer anyways, because that is where the lights will be.
7. Be extra safe and have your trick or treating "tools!" What are the tools? Cell phones. Flash lights. EPI pen if you have a child with a severe allergy.
Noelle and Myla last year trick or treating with their pumpkin lights!
Also, while you’re out, protect your home with these home security tips:
- Double check that all your doors are locked and your alarm is set. I know living in my neighborhood, I usually feel like it's super safe, but you just never know. On Halloween you get visitors from ALL over. It's not just your trusted neighbors and friends! Lock those doors!! It's a perfect night for people, dressed up in dark colors, to go straight up to stranger's homes! What an opportunity for them - Don't let them have it!
- If possible, park and protect your vehicle in a garage! Don't let your car be easy targets!
- If it’s late don’t answer. Most legitimate trick-or-treaters should be off the streets by 8 or 9. Go ahead and turn off your lights at 8 pm!
- Prevent Halloween pranksters with outdoor flood lighting and motion detectors. We usually have motion lights at our house anyways for safe keeping, but especially on Halloween! We even go the extra measure and Joey gets us special Halloween lights for the whole fall season to shine on the house! We got purple this year. It not only looks fun and festive, but it's more light outside our house to protect it from anyone trying to be sneaky for the wrong reasons!
I found out that there are more insurance claims filed due to Halloween vandalism than any other day of the year. Taking the right steps in protecting your home could save you thousands!! For more info, you can check out SimpliSafe - that's where I found that info out myself. They’re a security company that has come up with some helpful tips for protecting your home this fall, and if you’d like to learn more you can check them out here!
Those are just some of my tips! Hopefully they help you out when planning a fun night with your kiddos!! Happy Halloween everyone!! Can't wait to see what everyone dresses up as!
Happy Almost Halloween!!