If you plan to help your children participate in Halloween traditions like wearing costumes and trick-or-treating this year, check out these Halloween Safety Tips!

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Halloween Safety Tips for Costumes:

  1. Choose Fire-Resistant Materials:  It is important to know what sort of fabrics and materials you are dressing your child in.  Whether dressing as a teddy bear or a rock star, take the time to read the label and consider only dressing your children in costumes, including wigs and accessories, that are fire resistant.
  2. Reduce Risk by Avoiding Dangerous Props and Accessories:  Costume props and accessories, like swords or fairy princess wands, can be a big part of the fun in dressing up but they can also lead to unintentional injury for your child or their friends.  Many costume shops and retailers offer props made from soft and pliable materials like foam to help reduce the chance of injury when you little ninja starts swinging those nunchucks.
  3. Chose Non-Toxic Face Paint & Makeup:  This one likely seems like a no-brainer, but when choosing face paints or makeup to complete your child’s look, examine the packaging and look for indications that the product is non-toxic.  All face paints are not created equal.
  4. Reflective Tape is Your Friend:  Pick up a roll of reflective tape from your local hardware or general goods store and incorporate strips of the stuff into your child’s costume design.  Reflective tape helps to protect your child by making them more visible to vehicles therefore reducing risk of an accident.

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick of Treating:

  1. Appropriate Adult Supervision:  Don’t get distracted from good parenting principles just because your child is sporting a plastic “Hulk” mask.  An adult who is capable of providing appropriate supervision should accompany any children who are trick-or-treating.  This means line of sight, you’ve invested a lot in your kids . . . protect them like you have.
  2. Stick to Familiar Surroundings:  Resist the urge to venture into unfamiliar neighborhoods.  If you want to expand this year’s safe territory, visit the neighborhood in the weeks leading up to the big day so that you are familiar when its game time!
  3. Make a Plan:  If you decide to allow your older youth to strike out without you, insist on a planned route and time table for their return.  Even have them make periodic check-in calls.
  4. Strangers are Even Stranger on Halloween:  This one may seem obvious, but remind your children that they are never to enter the car or home of a stranger.  Your kids may get caught up in the excitement and assume that since you’ve given them permission to approach strangers homes asking for candy that it wouldn’t hurt to step inside for a moment while that stranger refills their candy bowl.  Remind your kids about Stranger Danger.
  5. Save the Eating for When you get Home:  A good rule for trick-or-treating is to tell your kids to wait until they get home before they start devouring their treasure of candy.  You, as the adult, need to help them examine the candy for safety, to help them indulge sensibly, and to claim a couple pieces for yourself . . . as a service charge.
  6. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings:  If Pokémon Go taught us anything, it is to stay constantly aware of our surroundings.  Look both ways when crossing the streets.  Don’t walk into traffic.  Avoid falling into bodies of water and/or construction hazards.  Some of your kids costume’s (especially those with masks) may restrict a child’s field of view.  Remind them to be aware of that and encourage them to stay aware.
  7.  Its Okay to Throw Candy Away:  What!?  I know, this may seem controversial but it is okay to toss candy into the rubbish bin.  Definitely throw away any candy that appears to have been opened and/or tampered with.  There is other candy and other days, err on the side of caution to avoid the potential of injury or illness.  You can even throw out perfectly good candy.  In retrospect I ate myself self many Halloweens as a child . . . we know our kids ability to consume and capacity to tolerate sugar better than they do . . . help them make wise choices with their consumption of the loot.

Share these Halloween safety tips with anyone you think might benefit from reading this!

To learn more about CK Family Services and how we make North Texas a great place to live, visit our website at www.ckfamilyservices.org.