Before sending your kids out into the night to do trick-or-treating, you should take note of some of the trick-or-treating tips that are available. There are quite a few things to take in consideration such as the checklist of what they will need, safety tips as well as what to do with all that candy when they are done. There are many ways to keep your children safe in these dangerous times without taking away any of the fun.
The Checklist Before
Once you have left home for the trick-or-treating to begin it is too late to want to think about anything you have left. Being unprepared will also leave you feeling more stressed and this may spoil the evening for your kids as well as your bad mood may just rub off on them or you may just start snapping at them out of frustration.
It is much better to go off being super organized and prepared before the fun begins. Once they go out, you can let them have their fun and take it from there, but up to the point when you leave home, you should know that everything that you need or that they will need is ready and waiting.
Make a checklist of everything you would possibly need to take with or for your children to take with.
On this checklist you could include:
- Costume (which should be brightly colored and contain reflective tape if possible)
- Change of clothing and sweaters to put on underneath costumes when it starts getting chilly.
- A good meal before so that the children are not tempted to snack on candy because they are hungry
- Mapped out route so that you know exactly where the kids are at which time
- A flashlight for when it starts getting dark
- If you are supervising other children than your own, you need their parent’s contact numbers and names as well as any medical information that you may need to know about as well as information about their cobra insurance plans in case of an emergency.
- If your children are going to be supervised by the parents of one of their friends, you will need to give them all of your details in case of an emergency and any medical information on your child that they should know about.
- Most importantly, don’t forget the bags where the candy will be going into and which harmless tricks your children will be allowed to perform should they not receive a treat. These should be non-threatening and not malicious in any way, for example, blowing soap bubbles at their home and saying a rhyme out loud.
- Discuss etiquette with the children before you set off so that they understand what behavior will be acceptable and what would be considered being out of line. This way the boundaries are set beforehand and you will hopefully not have to deal with any discipline issues.
You are now ready to have some good and clean fun as you know where you are going and what you need to be doing and your children know what is to be expected of them.
You cannot put a price on the safety of your children. As we all know, we cannot just send them out there unsupervised and expect them to be safe and have a good time these days like it used to be when we grew up. There are many things you can do to keep your kids safe while not making them feel paranoid or threatened in any way.
Stand Out In The Crowd
Halloween is the perfect excuse to get your kids to wear something bright, glow in the dark or with reflective strips on them. When it gets darker, they need to be seen by vehicles coming along. You can also get them glow bracelets which are fun and they will love playing with them in the dark even after Halloween is long gone. You can also get them some shoes that light up when they walk. This type of sneaker is practical and comfortable but will make your kids easy to spot on a dark Halloween night.
Map Out And Check Out Your Route
Decide before hand which route your children should take when they go trick-or-treating. It is always a good idea take your route through already familiar areas such as your own neighborhood or close to the child’s school. Follow the route yourself before hand in the daytime to make sure there are no dangerous obstacles such as broken sidewalks or uncovered manholes on this route as this would turn to be very dangerous obstacles at night when it is really dark. Check the night before if all of the streetlights are in working order on the route as well so that your children are walking through well-lit areas. Building rubble, overgrown areas and construction timber could also prove dangerous obstacles.
Dress For Comfort, Not For Show
When you are planning your child’s costume, you need to remember that your child will need to wear this costume for a lengthy period and they will be walking, running and skipping along. A pair of sturdy sneakers or running shoes will then be a lot more practical than high heels or pumps, especially for those little princesses. Even if your child gives you a hard time about wanting to wear those pretty shoes, at the end of the day, you are making more work for yourself by giving in as before long, those shoes will start to hurt those little feet and you will have to carry both the shoes, the child and the bag of sweets from house to house as chances are, even with sore feet, the trick-or-treating will not come to an end until all options have been exhausted. Make sure that the costume your child picks is about one size bigger so that they can wear something warm underneath because even though winter is not yet here, it can get chilly in the evenings.
Make sure that the costumes are also well fitted so they don’t cause the child to trip over it and that it doesn’t chaff in places it shouldn’t and if your child is wearing a mask, be sure they can see and breath when they have it on. The mask should not be a choking hazard either. It should be tight enough to not fall off, but should not be so tight that it leaves marks.
You will also need to think about those bathroom emergencies. Will your child be able to get out of the costume quick enough to go to the bathroom so they don’t wet or soil themselves before they can get to the toilet as this will be the end of the night for everyone.
Leave The Toys At Home
What is a pirate without a sword or at least a knife? In the case of a clumsy toddler it is a toddler that will still be alive tomorrow if he trips. When a child is trick-or-treating a toy prop can become a nuisance and a hazard at the same time. The child needs his or her hands free to carry the bag of candy and if they trip, then at least they don’t have to worry about falling on their toy. Toy props such as magic wands, fairy wands, sword or knives can become very dangerous if the child has it in his hands if he falls. Even a toy sheriff’s badge can become a potential weapon.
Stick To The Lights
Make sure that your children stay in well lit areas and only go to houses whose lights are on. Not only is this safer, but it also means that your children won’t be bothering someone who is maybe too ill, or not interested in giving candy to kids. It is only good manners to respect the privacy of individuals and you will also be setting your children up for disappointment if you send them to houses with unlit windows.
Having all of that candy and treats at their disposal can be so tempting to a child, but if they are well fed with a good meal and with healthy snacks along the way as well as well as giving them enough fluids to keep them hydrated, your task of making the candy last until you at least get home becomes so much easier. Because the children will be running around and doing a lot of walking, they will need to be kept hydrated. Check in with the children periodically to make sure they are not getting too hot or too cold as well.
Don’t Overburden The Child
A nice big goody bag may look very attractive and give your child the feeling like he will be getting a lot of treats, but you will need to remember that the poor child is going to have to lug that bag around with him from one house to another. By making up several smaller goody bags that have each child’s name on it, you can seal the bags as they get full and hand out the empty bags. This way you know that the child will not be snacking along the way on the candy, and there will be no fights about what happened to who’s candy because they are marked and sealed in front of them.
Watch The Time
Make sure you give the kids enough time to get through the route that you have marked off for them including the time they will take when the stop off at each house, but make sure that you get the kids home by 9pm at the latest. This is a general recommendation in all trick-or-treating tips as it is safer for the children that way, gives them enough time to count out and sort out their candy and still be in bed at a reasonable hour to not be too cranky the next day. This is also a courtesy to your neighbors, especially the elderly, who would like to do their part for Halloween, but who need to go to bed at a reasonable hour as well.
Safety In Numbers Under Supervision
Even though older children will absolutely detest the idea of an adult accompanying them when they trick-or-treat; the notion is that if you are young enough to go trick-or-treating, you are too young to go out door to door unsupervised. Smaller children won’t mind a grown-up tagging along and they will happily come and show off their weirs after each home, but tweens and teens may have a problem with you being anywhere near the neighborhood they are going through.
To solve this problem, you can make sure they have a mobile phone with them in case of an emergency and that they meet you at a mid-point at a specified time and then after the mid-point safety check they can be collected at the end of the route that has been marked out. You need to stress the importance of etiquette to them as well as the safety rules of sticking to well lit areas and not straying from the group.
What Happens After
When all the fun is over and your children have returned home safely after completing the route worked out for them, there is always the fight over what is going to happen to the candy that has been collected. It is not only impossible, but really unhealthy for children to eat so much candy and so much sugar all in one sitting, but they will do it anyway if you allow them to.
This is one of the things you should discuss with your children before they leave to go trick-or-treating so that you avoid the inevitable fight. If you have clearly stated the rules as to what should happen to the candy once it has been collected and they have agreed to these terms, then they will not have a leg to stand on in an argument over the case.
Your children should also never eat candy that has not been inspected by an adult first. There is no telling what some people would do out of malice.
Once you have inspected the candy and have deemed them safe for consumption, you can split them into two groups. One group of candy will be those that are perishable such as candied-apples and home-made candy and the other group will be the candy that will last a year if they remain unopened and stored correctly.
Once you have divided the candy into these categories, you can negotiate with your children how many of what they can have at which times. The perishable group of sweets should be consumed first and the rest can be measured out over time. Even if you have to stretch them out over a year, you should not let your children eat all of the candy in a short space of time just because it is Halloween.