9 Tips & Tricks For Safe Trick-Or-Treating in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin
It's now that special time of the year when the streets are filled with goblins, witches, cartoon characters, heroes, and classic villains. Halloween is the perfect time for kids to be kids. However, it's also an opportunity for them to make poor decisions, be injured, or worse...
Halloween is among the most anticipated holidays of the year for candy-crazed kids. Children pick out their favorite costume, celebrate with friends and community, and collect treats. But for parents, safety should be the main priority. Planned out trick-or-treating is the key to keeping your kids safe and having a good time that all can enjoy. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure your kids are safe and accounted for.
Tips and Tricks for Your Halloween Hi-Jinks
1) Plan a trick-or-treat route.
"Techy" families can use neighborhood apps (like Nextdoor) to find the best places to trick-or-treat or find neighborhood rules. The app’s Halloween Treat Map allows neighbors to mark their homes if they plan to pass out candy or display decorations. In addition, small neighborhoods may be easy to navigate with a simple plan in place. Avoid long paths that may cause fatigue or discomfort, especially for the littlest goblins. Simply choose a route that your child is already familiar with or is capable of walking. This will not only help prevent getting lost or confused, but will also make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
2) Set some ground rules as the Goblin King.
You're the parent, make sure the kids know it. Set up time parameters and make sure the kids are aware of the schedule. This will prevent future meltdowns when it's time to call it quits. Additionally google maps can allow you to setup a walking route and establish boundaries for the kids trick-or-treating alone. Letting kids know what they can and can't do is the first step to future responsibility. Let them know to stay on the sidewalk or walking path at all times and only cross the street at designated crosswalks. Make sure they always look both ways before crossing, and never assume that drivers can see you, even if you are wearing reflective clothing or carrying a flashlight: speaking of which...
3) Stay "bright" or keep a light.
Visibility is always key especially as night comes sooner. Most communities have set trick-or-treating times. Please stick within the community's set hours for "candy harvesting" and you can avoid most issues with losing daylight. Watch for lit up porches. Thats one sure fire way (in my community) you can tell that people are handing out candy. If you are worried about it getting dark, throw a small flashlight into your kids Halloween goody bag before they head out. You can also add reflective tape or stickers to the child's treat bag or bucket.
4) Use those phones!
There are a couple of ways to do this. Tracking apps like apple tags or nanny settings on smart phones give parents additional options this year for making sure their kids are safe and where they should be. Another great way to keep the kids in line, without making them feel like you're always watching them, is to have them snapchat photos to you of their friends, the decorated houses they visit, and the people they are around. It will provide you with some great memories and give your kids a sense of freedom with some additional family involvement. By the way, it may be important to take a picture of your kids in costume and what they are wearing under there costume in case something should happen.
5) Don't go it alone.
Goblins run in packs and so should yours. Trick or Treating with a group of friends is no only more fun, it’s also safer. Make sure that an adult is present to supervise the group and keep an eye on things. Set some additional ground rules: stay together as a group, no talking to strangers, don't get into any strange vehicles, be mindful of traffic, and inform them of any other local hazards. If you have younger children who can't "keep up," consider using a stroller or wagon to help them or give them a rest.
6) Leave the Mask, take the paint.
Masks can be creepy cool and really complete a Halloween costume, that being said, they can also be dangerous if they obstruct your view, are fitted improperly, or must be continually fixed to fit or stay on right. Obstructed vision can lead to falls, collisions, or traffic accidents. Instead of masks, consider using face paint for your child’s costume. Face paint is safer and less restrictive than masks. Before applying face paint, make sure to do a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any allergic reactions or irritation.
7) Like the mask, leave the dress (or robe).
Long, flowing costumes that can get caught on objects or trip your child are a definite no go for trick-or-treaters. In addition, shoes should be comfortable and well-fitting to avoid blisters or discomfort.
8) Dress for the occasion.
In the Midwest, the weather doesn't always play nice. It fun to dress up, but not at the expense of your good health. This year looks to be especially cold and wet for some locations across the Tri-States. Make sure your kids a dressed appropriately or prepared for weather conditions to change. It only takes three seconds to put your kid in a hat or jacket, or simply have them bring an umbrella if things look to get wet.
9) Check your kid's candy.
I'm not saying this expecting the worst-case scenario. That being said, it is something you should be prepared for. Simply checking out your kids candy once over is simple and quick. Look for any open or unwrapped candies and throw them out. No sense in risking it. Check the brand names of any unfamiliar or homemade treats, and always use caution when giving them to your child. Additionally, be aware of any potential allergens in the candy, such as nuts or dairy, and avoid giving those to children with allergies. It's just better to be safe, rather than sorry.
Trick or Treating is fun and exciting for kids and families, but it’s important to prioritize your safety first. By taking additional precautions like wearing comfortable costumes, being aware of your surroundings, and teaching your child basic safety rules, you can enjoy the festivities with less anxiety. These simple tips and tricks can really make your Halloween all treats, and no tricks.
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