Halloween may be one of the spookiest nights of the year, but the holiday should also be a happy and healthy one. With these 13 tips for a safer Halloween, you can protect your children and have a ghoulishly good time.
1. Serve a healthy dinner.
Before trick-or-treating commences, fill little tummies with the healthy foods that growing bodies need. Chili with whole-grain pumpkin muffins is a popular Halloween meal for many families.
2. Consider costumes carefully.
Children can easily trip over long capes, so always shorten any costume that trails on the ground. According to One Step Ahead, a leading provider of Halloween costumes for children and infants, "falls are the leading cause of accidental injuries on the holiday."
3. Opt for face paint.
Masks can decrease vision substantially, so face paint is often a safer choice, particularly for young children. The good news? It's easy to make your own!
4. Watch the weather.
Be prepared to add coats, gloves, and long pants to costumes. They may not look nice, but they will prevent frostbite if a cold front moves through on Halloween night.
5. Go green with reusable treat bags.
By investing in reusable trick-or-treat bags such as the ones available at One Step Ahead, you can skip the plastic grocery bags — and protect the environment.
6. Light up the night.
Trick-or-treating usually occurs in the dark, so always use flashlights or glow sticks to increase your visibility — especially near busy streets.
7. Plan age-appropriate activities.
Avoid activities that may be too frightening, especially with younger children. Some families find that a low-key Halloween party is perfect for toddlers.
8. Avoid allergic reactions.
Halloween can be scary for parents of children with food allergies, but it doesn't have to be if you're properly prepared. Read How to Have an Allergy-Free Halloween for ideas on how to trick-or-treat safely.
9. Talk about "stranger danger."
Remind your children not to get in the car with a stranger or enter a stranger's home without a parent's permission, especially on Halloween night.
10. Drive carefully.
With so many adults and children walking in the dark, you can never be too careful behind the wheel. Slow down, pay attention, and whatever you do, do NOT drink and drive.
11. Monitor tweens and teens.
Older children might be too old to trick-or-treat with mom and dad, but thanks to Halloween smartphone apps, you can still be sure they're celebrating safely.
12. Check the candy.
Your neighbors probably aren't planning to poison your kids, but it doesn't hurt to play it safe. Make sure all wrappers are sealed, and throw away items that look suspicious.
13. Remember oral health.
There's no way around it — Halloween candy isn't good for your teeth. Try to limit candy consumption when possible, and remember, there are plenty of ways to use leftover Halloween candy that don't involve eating it.
Disclosure: I received reusable trick-or-treat bags from One Step Ahead. The larger Candy Corn Treat Bag is perfect for older, more ambitious trick-or-treaters who plan to get as much candy as they can carry, while the smaller Pumpkin and Spider Treat Bags (which are pretty tiny) are ideal for infants and toddlers. As always, opinions are my own.