It’s almost that time of year. Parents, family members and caregivers are out there hunting for just the right costumes for their little ones. Some families are making them at home, and children are getting very excited in anticipation of Hallowe’en! The thought of all that candy, Hallowe’en parties, tricks, treats and fun is almost too much to bear. Because we want you to “Booooooo!” not Boo-Hoo the day after, here are a few safety suggestions for parents, family members and caregivers to keep in mind about Hallowe’en trick or treating and costumes, in general:
- Accompany your young children on a familiar route in your own neighborhood or on a route you and they know well. If you are crossing streets with them, hold their hands (please!). And you and they should wear some reflective clothing too–so cars can see you and them!
- Take a flashlight with you to help navigate steps and curbs! Do not go where you don’t feel safe, for any reason.
- Make sure children’s costumes do not drape the ground that they might trip or prevent them walking safely–or running–because you know they WILL run!
- Make sure children’s costumes are breathable–that any mask (especially masks of rubber, plastic, or fake fur) covering their face has plenty of air holes and that arms, legs, neck, and head are not restricted from movement. Also make sure costumes themselves have air holes–you don’t want them to become overheated.
- Encourage children to choose wrapped candy when possible. Review their candy when they get home to make sure there’s nothing weird or inappropriate in the candy haul!
- Make sure before you go out that in case you are separated your children know their names, your cell phone number and their home address. Attach a card in their coat with their name and address on it if need be! Also, if they have a cell phone, make sure they know to call 911 if they feel in danger!
- Tell children not to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them!
- Do not let children enter a home unless you are with them! If your children are older (12+), encourage them to remain in a group as they trick-or-treat and not to become separated!
- Make sure children are warm enough in their costume if it’s cold… or cool enough if it’s warm/hot where you are!
You will find more tips on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website. If you want to donate to NCMEC, so that they can keep bringing missing children home to their families, please visit www.ncmec.org