Halloween is such a fun time of the year for children; but when children encounter tricks instead of treats, this holiday can become very scary – and not just because of the decorations and frightening costumes. Abductions, bullying, candy that has been compromised; these are all things that can make Halloween a dreadful holiday for children and parents alike.
In order to keep your kids safe this Halloween, educate them before they put on their costumes and start knocking on the neighbors doors. Here are 5 tips that can help keep those little ghosts and ghouls safe this – and every – Halloween.
Plan a Route.
Before your kids hit the town to gather goodies, plan a route for them. It should be one that leads them through well-lit areas that are heavily populated. The lighter the area and the more people around, the less likely there will danger lurking. Make sure to discuss the route with your kids beforehand.
Give them a Cell Phone.
You may not want your kids to have a cell phone on a regular basis, but on Halloween, you might want to make an exception. Pre-program the phone with emergency contact numbers so that if there is an emergency, your child will be able to easily call for help. Also, it will allow you to call and check up on your child at regular intervals. They’ll have the freedom to trick-or-treat by themselves, but you’ll still be able to keep a watchful eye, or ear, on them.
Talk to Your Child About Potential Dangers.
Discuss possible scenarios that could occur that would be dangerous. For example, what they should do if someone tries to ask them to get into their car, or go into their house. Provide them with the right response so that they know how to react and so that they can avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Give you children flashlights or have them wear glow bracelets or necklaces while they are trick-or-treating. Doing so will allow them to not only see what is around them, but will allow others to easily see them. Cars can be a particular danger while walking on dark streets; lighting up your kids will make them more visible to drivers.
Don’t Eat Candy…yet.
Of course, children are going to find it difficult to keep their goodies out of their mouths; however, you really need to stress the importance of waiting until they get home to eat their candy. Once they get home, you can inspect them to make sure they are safe. Spread the candy out and go through it together. Remove anything that is unwrapped or looks questionable. And while homemade treats may seem like a nice gesture, there is no telling what is inside of them, so nix them.
BONUS: Give Them the Skills to Defend
Hopefully Halloween night stays fun and carefree, but danger is always just one oversight away. Kids who have some self defense training are more likely to spot dangers, stay cautious, and have the confidence to say ‘no’ when something isn’t right. These are the reassurances that parents are especially thankful for as their kids get to the age where they are able to Trick or Treat alone with their friends.
Don’t just tell kids to say ‘no’ and protect themselves. Make sure they can back it up with real self defense!
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