Have you ever talked to your kids about Trick or Treat safety?
I really was thinking about this recently. The only safety we were ever told, stay on the sidewalks, don't run into the street, cross at the corners and don't eat any candy. Maybe this was because our Trick or Treat was always during the day. It was always the Saturday or Sunday before Halloween from 3 to 6.
Now that I am a parent and live in a different area we actually Trick or Treat on Halloween in the evening and I will be honest ... it's awesome. Trick or Treating at night does bring forth some new concerns and safety issues.
I decided to put together an Z to A list for you (Let's be honest I wanted to start with Zombies. hahah!) with safety some safety reminders.
Z: Zombies don't work alone. -- If zombies work in groups you should too! This is especially important for that 12 and up crew. A group is at least 3.
Y: Yell, if someone is trying to get you in their house or their car and you do not know them. Yell. There are parents and safe adults around yell and get help.
X: (E)xcitement can bring out not so smart decisions sometimes. Be excited, but keep safe.
W: Walking FEET! Of course running is fun. When kids get excited it tends to speed up their feet. It's dark, there are tripping hazards that are harder to see. It's smarter to walk for safety reasons.
V: Voltage - be sure your phone is fully charged before you head out. If you have older kids that are going to be out on their own give a phone to the most responsible in case of an emergency.
U: Uninvited. Do not go into a house of someone you don't know. Don't get in a car either.
T: Tampered candy should always be reported. EVEN IF you don't know what house it came from.
S: Separated and scared. That can be spooky! Be sure to talk about trusted adults. Moms with kids are going to be the safest to talk to if you need help. You can also talk to a grown up at a WELL LIT house, do not go inside.
R: Reflective tape. Stick some on the costume or on the treat bag. Anything to make sure your kiddo can be seen in the dark.
Q: Question that adult that seems to be out without any kids. That person (could even be a woman) might be up to no good.
P: Porch lights. Only go to houses that are well lit.
O: Open your eyes. Don't just watch for cars. Keep your eyes open for tripping hazards.
N: Nice and bright. Sure a grim reaper is a fun and scary costume, but you can't be seen and when you can't be seen you can't be safe. Opt for brightly colored costumes if you can.
M: Make-up instead of masks. Remember how I said excitement makes feet go faster. Combine fast feet and potentially blocked vision -- could be a recipe for disaster.
L: Look and look again. If you are driving during Trick or Treat kids can dart out between parked cars and bushes. Drive slow and keep your eyes open.
K: Keep to sidewalks of a familiar neighborhood. Shortcuts and alleys are not the safest places to be in the dark.
J: "J-walking" is a bad idea. Cross at corners and in crosswalks. It is just safer.
I: Inspect candy. Any candy should be inspected by a trusted grown up before eating.
H: Have fun and be safe. Okay, that one goes without saying.
G: Grown-ups or groups -- if you are under 12 you need a grown up. If you are over 12 you need to be in a group.
F: Firm time frame. Your kids are older and want to Trick or Treat on their own. Set a firm time frame for them to be out on their own.
E: Emergency contact. Put your name and number on your kid. God forbid they get lost or separated they can find a MOM WITH KIDS to call you and get help.
D: Dull weapons. If weapons from costumes are sharp it's not safe. Make sure they are dull.
C: Candy and non-candy treats are always safer than homemade snacks and treats.
B: Be seen! Are you the adult of the group? Be sure you can be seen. Don't wear dark clothes if you can help it.
A: Avoid dogs. Even the nicest dog can get scared by all the people in costumes.
So there you have it, 26 tips and tricks for a scare-ificly fun Trick or Treat. Have a great time whether you Trick or Treat on the weekend or on Halloween night.