Halloween has long been a favorite holiday. For decades, little ones have dressed up in their costumes on Halloween night to go door to door throughout the neighborhood begging candy from their neighbors.
Unfortunately, Halloween is not as safe as it once was. Running around after dark leaves children vulnerable to accidents and malice. While mom and dad might have been able to accept the homemade cookies from the lady two streets over, now they have to examine their children's treats for needles and razor blades. And those who have corrupted the fun of Halloween to a night for malice and mischief have left some parents hesitant to send their little ones out at all.
However, with a few precautions, you can make sure that the Halloween spirit lives on for at least one more generation.
You might remember going trick or treating with a group of friends while mom and dad stayed home to pass out treats. However, in today's changing society, it is simply not a good idea. Stay close to children at all times, particularly younger ones, and make sure that everyone stays within view while trick or treating. If taking out a large group, have children choose a Halloween “buddy” to stay with the entire time.
There will be less dissension in the ranks if you set up the rules for Halloween night ahead of time. Make sure your children know before you head out what is acceptable and what isn't. This includes curfews, how far they can go trick or treating, rules about eating treats, etc.
While the neighborhoods will be swarming with children out trick or treating, many drivers may not take the extra precautions while driving and will continue to cruise through at normal speeds. To make sure your child is visible to drivers, look for costumes that reflect the light or have your child carry glowsticks or flashlights when trick or treating.
Check the treats
Sadly, you will want to wait to get home to eat any of the treats because you will want to inspect them first. Discard any treats that are unwrapped or whose wrappers have been damaged. Look carefully for anything out of the ordinary. Avoid any homemade treats unless you personally know the person that made them – and then be careful if your child has any allergies.
Be a watchdog
While Halloween is known for costumes and candy, in more recent years it has also started attracting a crowd with more malicious intents. While some may limit their mischief to covering trees in toilet paper or smashing pumpkins, others can do even more vandalism and damage. And with so many children running around, many being only loosely supervised, there are plenty of opportunities for child predators to take advantage of the situation. Keep an eye out on the neighborhood, and report any suspicious activities to police.
If you plan for Halloween and set up some ground rules, you can help ensure that everyone has a wonderful holiday. That way, Halloween can continue to be enjoyed by children everywhere.