Tips for Safe and Happy Trick-or-Treating

October 29th, 2010by Jessi Arias-Cooper

If you’re gearing up to take your little monsters out Trick-or-Treating, take a look at these simple tips and tricks to keep everyone safe and happy this Halloween!

Keeping our children safe is always our top priority, and taking a few extra precautions will reduce the risks of any not-so-pleasant surprises from ruining your evening.

  • Know exactly when your city’s Trick-or-Treating hours will be held. Only walk around during these scheduled hours
  • Make sure costumes fit comfortably without being too baggy. If it will be chilly and you’ll need to layer clothing under your child’s costume, allow for a little extra room
  • Dresses and robes shouldn’t fall below shin level. Hem or safety-pin excessively long costumes to keep your child from tripping while he’s walking or climbing steps
  • Stick to your neighborhood. These are the folks you trust enough to live near. Familiarity is less stressful for you and more safe for your kids
  • Have your child wear a glow necklace or other reflective badge or device so he or she will be easy to see when the sun goes down
  • Remind your children before they collect any candy that they can’t eat any until you’ve safety checked it
  • Don’t let your children walk through yards. Using the sidewalk is polite and will reduce the risk of bumps, bruises and twisted ankles. Garden gnomes and potholes can be stealthy and bring the night to an early, dramatic and painful close
  • Trust your gut. If you aren’t comfortable with a particular house, skip it. Always follow your intuition, it’s a parental superpower
  • Carry a flashlight and small first aid kit just in case a minor mishap should occur
  • No matter how cold it is or how tired you are, resist the urge to drive slowly alongside your children. This is one of the Jessi’s biggest pet peeves on Halloween night. It may be convenient for you, but it isn’t safe for all of the other families that are hoofin’ it old school style

Besides safety, there are a few tricks I’ve picked up on over the years that ensure the night will be a treat for everyone.

  • If you aren’t crazy about taking a toddler door-to-door, check out the local supermarkets, malls or other retail plazas. Often business offer a safe indoor alternative for trick-or-treating
  • Join in the fun. Doing a little something special like donning a witch hat or devil horns will add to the fun. Halloween is a night to be silly and enjoy the world of magic and fantasy. Enjoy it
  • Bring along a larger sack for your tykes to poor their loot into. Their arms will get tired from carrying heavy buckets and if, heaven forbid, a handle should break and candy hits the pavement, you better brace yourself for some tears. Having a catchall bag will save you a whole mess of trouble
  • Make sure everyone is wearing sneakers. Dress shoes that sparkle may be adorable, but blisters are not
  • Don’t go nuts with greasy face paint on really young children. Cranky children hate having their faces scrubbed.
  • If you do use face paints, removal is much easier if you use a tear-free baby shampoo to take it off
  • When your little clown says he’s tired and has had enough, trust his instincts. Pushing him to finish a block will only end in a meltdown. Screaming does not a happy Halloween make
  • When you’re safety checking the sweets, separate fruity candies from chocolate. They’ll store better without tainting each other’s flavor

From the witches and warlocks at Advice For Parenting, have a happy, safe and spooky Halloween!

Jessi Arias-Cooper is the senior writer and an editor for She is a work-from-home mother of 3 boys and has been married for 11 years. If she had time for hobbies and interests outside of parenting and keeping house, they would be jewelry making, baking, watching bad B-movie horror flicks and creative writing . If you have a question for Jessi, click here.


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