Halloween can be a scary holiday for children, but that shouldn't be the case for parents, too. While kids love to dress up and revel in the theatrically horrific nature of this ancient holiday, parents shouldn't be trembling in horror at the thought of what might befall their little ones on this playfully spooky fright-fest. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep your young ones safe this year while they're out trick-or-treating with their friends.
1. Join the fun: Just because your children feel mature enough to trick-or-treat on their own doesn't mean you share their sentiments. Join in the party by donning a costume yourself and walking with (or even several yards behind) your kids and their friends. You can also hold a "parents party" with other moms and dads by congregating on the sidewalk or in a parked vehicle nearby. That way, you can give your children their freedom by maintaining some distance while still keeping an eye on the proceedings.
2. Make a unique costume: Help your children make awesome costumes that are distinct from other kids' who will be trick-or-treating in the same area. Having a unique costume will help your children be more memorable to those they encounter, meaning it will be easier for you to find them again should you become separated. It may even win them a contest or two – or at the very least, score them a few extra pieces of candy.
3. Maintain visibility: October is the month when nights begin to get noticeably darker earlier. Depending on what time your children trick-or-treat, you may need to equip them with some extra gear to ensure that they're visible to passing cars. Flashlights are the obvious choice, but some kids may find them cumbersome to carry or may forget to turn them on. Reflective apparel also works, though your children may be reluctant to wear it. Handing out glow sticks or glow-jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets, can help kids stay clearly visible without requiring them to carry any additional items. Kids will probably think the jewelry is a cool addition to their costume, too.
4. Give guidelines on candy: Some parents like to inspect each piece of candy before allowing their children to partake in their well-earned goodies. If that's your style, that's fine. However, instances of tampered candy are incredibly rare, which means you may feel better giving your kids a few broad guidelines and allowing them to check their own stashes. Some common guidelines include forgoing homemade treats (however well-intentioned their makers may have been), tossing away pieces that look as though they've been opened and eating only a certain amount of candy at a time to prevent illness.
5. Make sure they have access to their medication: The scares of Halloween should be limited to the spooky dress and decor, and not related to medical issues. If your children depend on prescription medication such as an asthma inhaler or EpiPen, make sure you or your children have it on hand during the festivities. That way, should your children get winded from trick-or-treating or encounter an ingredient to which they have an allergic reaction, you're ready to act. You probably won't need it, but you'll feel better if you're prepared.
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