For kids, Halloween looms large – a night to stay up late, dress in scary costumes, and gorge on buckets of candy. But for Mom and Dad – between kids hopped up on sugar and determined to hit every house within a 10-mile radius – Halloween can turn into a very long night. How do you keep your little ghouls and goblins safe and sound on the spookiest night of the year?
· Start Off in Style: A pre-trick-or-treating party kicks off the festivities for kids but also serves a real purpose for parents. It breaks up the agonizing wait for darkness to hit and also allows parents to serve up healthy snacks so kids don’t head out on an empty stomach.
· Clear the Way: Between pumpkins on the steps, Halloween decorations on display, and piles of leaves everywhere, just getting to the front door can be a challenge. Before the big night, take a look at your front walkway and make sure kids can easily reach your house.
· Stress Safety over Spookiness: Sometimes the scariest costumes prove the most problematic, with capes that drag on the ground, ill-fitting masks that cover kids’ eyes, and an overabundance of dark colors. Ensure kids can walk without tripping, opt for make-up over masks, and place reflective tape on costumes to ensure visibility.
· No Magic Age: Whether or not it’s OK for kids to head out on Halloween without Mom and Dad depends solely on the maturity of each child, if older siblings will be along, and how far they plan to meander. Typically, kids begin going out with a big group of friends and just in the immediate neighborhood around sixth grade – but limit the time and insist they stay in touch via cell phones.
· Out & About: Give younger kids some autonomy by letting them go up to houses alone while you remain on the sidewalk. Kids of all ages should only approach well-lit, welcoming homes. And on a night filled with sticky candy, pumpkin carving and more, don’t forget to take along Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipe Travel Packs to ensure hands stay clean on the go.
· Check the Loot: Make sure kids know to bring candy home first for inspection before sampling -- no eating on the go! For kids with allergies, braces, or other dietary restrictions, have a discussion beforehand so they understand the rules still apply and can choose, for example, chocolate bars over candy with nuts and caramel.