Ready for a spooky Halloween? Ready for a safe Halloween? I know what you might be thinking - you can't have both. But contrary to popular opinion, the two aren't at all mutually exclusive.
1. Young children should always have an adult escorting them when trick-or-treating. This is true whether it is daytime or dark. The last thing kids want to be haunted by is a bored (and boring) adult on Halloween. But the presence of an adult doesn't need to get in the way of fun. It's an opportunity for the adult to recapture some of that old youthful Halloween glee. You also have the opportunity to don a costume of your own (if that wasn't in your plans anyway), and you know you're excited about that! Make sure, whatever costume you wear, that you can keep up with the children and carry a flashlight. Unimposing vigilance, adults - that's your goal!
2. More mature children can go trick-or-treating without adult supervision as long as they stick to a familiar, trusted route that's not completely abandoned. And a curfew on Halloween shouldn't be a matter of debate. You should expect your kids to be back by a certain agreed-upon time. Now there's a recipe for Halloween safety, and it's even tastier than that Sugar Daddy® you plan to steal from your kid's loot! Careful not to lose your false fangs in it.
3. That brings us to another important subject: candy. As a general rule, you shouldn't let your children eat their candy before you've had a chance to see that it hasn't been tampered with. There's nothing wrong with telling your unescorted children that they can't eat their candy until they're home (give them some candy before they leave, if it helps). In fact, if you encourage this restraint when the kids are very young, this Halloween safety technique can become a beloved ritual even for older kids. Promote the anticipation of waiting, and then have your kids show you their bounty when they return. Be impressed and look through the candy haul. Maybe steal a piece or two - but don't get carried away, you villain!
4. If your neighborhood has few or no trick-or-treaters, or if it just isn't normally safe, you can always drive a carload of children to a nearby neighborhood that's safer on Halloween. Not only that, but there are Halloween carnivals and haunted houses in just about every community. Local newspapers and radio stations typically have information about them leading up to Halloween, and you can always visit their websites to learn more as well. These events provide safe activities in a festive environment where kids can hang out with friends and meet new ones, too.
5. Costumes should also be safe on Halloween. Don't let your children use knives and extremely sharp objects as props (does this even need to be said?). Have your kids carry glow sticks when they trick-or-treat, so that cars can see something at least. Make sure kids can see through their masks. And remind children not to walk on the road at night.
6. Before any of the trick-or-treating and partying commences, you might be carving a pumpkin. Well where there are knives and fire, there is a need for Halloween safety! Ensure that all carvers know that they must cut away from their hands. We don't want to see any real lacerations on Halloween! An adult should help young children with the carving of a Jack O' Lantern. And if you plan on using candles, don't leave the Jack O' Lantern unattended and burning for a long period of time. To do so would be a recipe for a Halloween conflagration, which doesn't taste anything like a Sugar Daddy® and is something you definitely want to avoid. For more on pumpkin carving, check out our article, "How To Carve a Pumpkin."
7. When you add the bone-chilling decorations around your house for Halloween, make sure that the trick-or-treaters aren't likely to trip over them or otherwise hurt themselves. The same is true for Halloween party decorations.
In general, you want to remind your children (and yourself) that the laws of physics, and state and federal laws, don't take a break on Halloween. Have a safe and spooky Halloween!