For many kids in Utah County, Halloween is just as exciting as Christmas! Children love getting elaborately decked out as their favorite superheroes, creatures or any spooky creation of choice. However, for any parent or guardian, trick-or-treating can be a little nerve-wracking to think about. You want your kids and their friends to stay safe while showing off their ghastly apparel and storming the neighborhood in the dark.
We’ve gathered top tips for you, to make sure everyone stays safe and has a blast this Halloween:
- Go during appropriate trick-or-treating hours
Don’t wait to go until it is pitch-black outside. The best time to go is just before dusk. It is still light enough outside that you are able to keep track of your children and see other you are passing/encountering with on the street (and you get first picking of the candy).
- Visibility is key
It is always better if you can incorporate lighter colors or reflective tape into your costumes so that they are easier to see in the dark. Another great option is to have them wear glow necklaces and carry glow sticks and/or flashlights.
- Never go alone
No one should be out there alone. Kids that are elementary age or younger should be with a parent or guardian at all times, but those who are middle school-aged and want to explore unaccompanied by parents should stay in groups at all time. Make sure everyone knows all important phone numbers and addresses and set the curfew times and route beforehand.
- Walking Tips
Be sure that everyone understands simple traffic rules, such as stopping and looking both ways before crossing the street, and staying in a crosswalk if one is available. If you have to cross at a light, make sure you have the proper “walk” signal before you proceed. Double check to make sure dresses or capes don’t drag on the ground. And finally, make sure that everyone is wearing comfy shoes and to double knot any tennis shoes.
- Stay on track
Trick-or-treating can span several blocks for multiple hours, so make sure you and your entourage of trick-or-treaters know the route you have planned. Stay in a well-lit neighborhood you’re familiar with. It might be tempting to take a shortcut through an alley or cut through someone’s yard, but that can sometimes pose a danger.
- Inspect candy first
Enforce an “inspection rule” before kids dig into their treats. All candy should be wrapped in its original wrapper and should not be tampered with. While it’s at the parent’s’ discretion whether or not to let kids eat homemade treats, make sure those are also wrapped and protected.
- Say no!
Even if it’s late and offered, make sure your kids know not to accept rides from anyone they don’t know. Do not accept any kind of candy or bribery and kindly thank them and move on. If you or your kid feels unsafe or uneasy at any time, don’t be afraid to report it or contact your local police.