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How to Keep Kids Safe on Halloween Night

How to Keep Kids Safe on Halloween Night

Don't be spooked by the thought of your kids trick-or-treating alone this year. Here are some tips to keep them safe.

Halloween is one of kids’ favorite nights of the year, but it can also present some scary situations. Walking in the dark, wearing costumes, and receiving candy from strangers can make kids vulnerable to danger–and make parents worry instead of having fun. Fortunately, we talked to safety experts to compile all the ways you can prepare your kids for trick-or-treating so Halloween is safe, stress-free, and fun for everyone.

Kids Should Travel in Numbers

When it comes to Halloween safety, there’s no substitute for parental supervision, says Chris Hughes, the chief of police at Northport Police Department in Suffolk County. Kids younger than 12 should not go trick-or-treating without an adult, adds Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A., author of The Safe Baby, and a national child safety expert.

Trick-or-Treat Locally

When kids are ready to go out on their own, they should not trick-or-treat in any unfamiliar part of town, Hughes says. Knowing where they are, how to get home, and who to go to for help—such as a neighbor or other trusted adult in the neighborhood—is crucial. They should only go up to houses with lights on, keep their cellphones charged, and never go inside any home, Holtzman advises.

Be Careful About Candy

Make sure your child knows to never eat anything that is unwrapped or appears to be homemade, Hughes says. You should “discard any candy that is a choking hazard, or your child is allergic to, or that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened,” Holtzman adds.

Choose Costumes Wisely

“Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year,” Holtzman says. Crossing the street carefully can help prevent car accidents—but costumes matter too. Kids should wear reflective tape on their costumes, and costumes should allow for 100-percent visibility.

Consider face-paint instead of masks, Holtzman suggests, because it ensures they can see and won’t restrict breathing. Costumes should also be flame resistant, and short enough that kids won’t trip or fall.

Remember–Halloween is Fun

Halloween is and should remain a fun and festive holiday—as long as a few safety rules are in place. In general, Hughes says, kids should stay aware of their surroundings and avoid engaging with strangers. This will help everyone have more fun—even parents, who won’t have to worry while their kids trick-or-treat.

RELATED: Check out Halloween events for kids in NYC happening throughout October!

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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