Tips and Tricks for Safe Trick or Treating
Keep the kids safe and having fun while trick or treating this Halloween.
Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach and weekly contributor to Patch.com. She’s the founder of ChocolateCakeClub.com and ChocolateCakeMoments.com both sites dedicated to helping busy families have more fun together. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on ABC Chicago, WGN TV, and NBC Chicago. When she’s not working, she is CFO (Chief Fun Officer) for her family.
It’s almost time to trick or treat! My kids are excited and looking forward to Halloween night. To keep Halloween night fun though, everyone needs to stay safe. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your kids have a happy Halloween.
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Have adult supervision. Walk with your kids if you don’t think they’re old enough to trick-or-treat on their own. There is no “right” age to let your kids trick or treat alone. I’ve heard anywhere from 8 – 12 years old as the magic number. It really depends on your child, the neighborhood, and how far they will be walking. If you’re nervous about it, go with them. Better yet, make it a party and trick or treat with your neighbors. Take some wagons for tired young ones and hot chocolate to keep everyone warm. This way the older kids won’t feel like you’re “watching” them if you all go in a group.
There is safety in numbers. If they’re old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, tell your kids to stay in a group. Give your oldest child a cell phone so you can call or text to find out where they are. Better yet, you can even track your little gremlins with the Trick or Tracker 2.0 App for your smartphone.
Light them up. Give your kids a flashlight so they can watch where they are going and don’t get scared in the dark. It also makes them more visible so cars can see them. You can use a glow stick or reflective tape for this also.
Map their route. Make them a map of the streets they are allowed to trick or treat on. That way if their friends want to catch up with them later they can show which streets they’ll be on. Only trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods. Tell them to only visit houses with lights on and suggest that they might find their best luck at houses with Halloween decorations outside.
Be respectful. I know the kids are excited and they want to hit as many houses as they can but tell them to be respectful and not run through people’s yards. You don’t want a phone call that your kids smashed the neighbor’s flowers or broke their fence. Also, remind them to say “Thank You” after getting their candy. ALWAYS!
Stranger Danger. Tell your kids to stay away from strangers, don’t go up to cars to answer questions, and never go into someone’s house to get candy. Basic stuff but go over it again just so you feel better.
Watch the Clock. Check with your local town or village to see what the hours are for trick or treating. Tell your kids to be respectful and not ring any doorbells after the cut off time.
Have fun. When the kids get home they’ll be tired but ready to inhale all of their precious candy. Make sure they pay up the Mom and Dad candy tax before they eat all of the good stuff. Most importantly tell them to have fun. Oh, and brush their teeth.
At what age would you let your kids trick or treat alone? Any other tips to make sure they are safe and having fun?