Halloween is without a doubt one of the most eagerly anticipated and enjoyable holidays for kids. Whereas they get to dress up as their favorite characters and run around all night, accumulating overflowing buckets of goodies and sweets, parents must keep in mind that they have a responsibility to keep a watchful eye on things-keeping them as safe as possible without spoiling or compromising too much of the fun.
Pick the Place
Try and choose an ideal location for the kiddies to go trick-or-treating. It’s bad enough having to worry about them being out unaccompanied in the dark on a night that practically begs ghouls and creeps to prowl about. Mapping out a route beforehand might assist in alleviating the worries; avoid sketchy areas (e.g. dark alleys, town sections with particularly dangerous reputations, and streets without considerable foot traffic) wherever possible.
Consider a Safety Kit
Try constructing and including a small, portable safety kit that kids can carry around in their pillowcases or plastic jack-o-lanterns. Use basic items like flashlights, pepper spray, perhaps some sort of identification, bandages, and reflective tape. It certainly couldn’t hurt, and the light load shouldn’t interfere too much with their designated candy space.
I used to love carrying around a black flashlight with an orange pumpkin light on top as a kid when I went out. It really doesn’t require much effort to make these things fun.
Never allow a child to brave the night of fright alone. That isn’t to say that being babysat or constantly monitored by parents are the only available options. Rather, keep it enjoyable and propose that a group of friends go out together. If that isn’t sufficiently reassuring, consider having older siblings or even the family dog tag along as protection. It might also help to ensure that at least one person in the group has a cell phone in case of emergency.
Sorting through the Goods
-Discard any partially unwrapped or open pieces of candy.
-Avoid all homemade varieties unless received from a trusted neighbor or friend.
-Whenever possible, check for expiration dates.
-Consumption only after inspection.
When I was a kid, my parents always let me eat a few pieces of candy they had bought before actually going out. That way, my lust for sweets would be satiated-at least until after they had ample time to sort through my stash.