Halloween is full of scary images. But nothing is scarier than a child’s safety being compromised, says Sarah Traub, University of Missouri Extension human development and family studies specialist.
Parents and other adults warn children not to take candy from a stranger and not to go to a stranger’s home. Yet on Halloween night these cardinal rules of childhood safety are broken, Traub says. This creates a great opportunity for families to talk openly about appropriate and safe behavior.
Traub lists ways to keep your child safe on Halloween night:
•Dress your child in a light-colored, flame-resistant costume decorated with reflective tape.
•Avoid long costumes that might cause tripping.
•Check costumes with masks or eye patches that could limit vision.
•Instead of candles, use a flashlight or battery-powered device to make pumpkins glow.
•Clear your yard, steps and porch of items that can trip children and their parents. Keep outside lights on.
•Go with children 10 and younger on trick-or-treat rounds. Do not allow a child to enter anyone’s house alone.
•Inspect candy and other treats carefully before allowing children to eat them.
•Plan a route and discuss limitations for unsupervised adolescents.
•Trick or treat during daylight hours if possible and stay in well-lit, populated areas after dark.
•Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
•Tell children to never go into a stranger’s home or car for any reason.
•Go to the bathroom before leaving home so that children aren’t tempted to enter someone’s home to use the bathroom.
•Check the sexual predator registry for homes to avoid in your neighborhood at www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/CRID/SOR/SORPage.html.