13 “Tips and Treats” for a Safe Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And even though my kids are too old to trick or treat, I still love handing out candy to the folks who show up at my doorstep. After all, who can resist a good pirate costume?

But since I'm not out and about this year, I wanted to share some of my Halloween tips with you. Because even though Halloween can be a blast, we still need to be safe.

Let's start with street smarts. The scary truth is, on average, kids are more than twice as likely to get hit by a car on Halloween. Here are a few ways you can keep your kids safe:

Stock up on trick or treat safety items. Things like a flashlight, reflective tape and an emergency contact card. If your kid doesn't want reflective tape ruining their costume, you can wrap it around their candy bag too.

Trick or treat in a larger group with other adults. The more eyes you have, the more things you can watch out for. Plus, sometimes the company is nice when you've only talked to kids for 3 hours straight.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. And if there's no sidewalk, stay on the far edge of the road facing traffic. That way, you'll see any cars coming head on.

Look both ways before crossing the street. If you practice this with your kids during your day-to-day, this should be second nature to them.

Walk between houses. Don't run. We're all excited to get candy, but by walking, we can avoid trips and falls.

Now that we've discussed street smarts, let's do some "treat smarts." Your kids will have a lot of different candy in their hands tonight. Make sure they only eat the treats and don’t get tricked.

Don't let your kids eat any suspicious candy. I'm sure this one is obvious to you, but it bears saying. I would stick to only factory-wrapped treats. If you have any doubts about how safe the candy is, throw it out. Better to be safe than sorry.

Don't eat the glow sticks. You would be surprised how often I've had to say this. Glow sticks are great for keeping up with your kids. Just make sure they aren't chewing on the ends.

Put away the medicine. We all know kids are naturally curious. But it ramps up around Halloween, especially with medicine. Confusing medicine with candy can make Halloween go from spooky to scary. Keep all medications and vitamins out of reach and sight from children.

Read the labels. This one is especially important for kids with food allergies. Even if you think you know, double check the ingredients list on your candy. You never know what could be hiding in there.

And finally, I want to talk about costumes. I'm sure your little pirate or princess is ready to go. But there are a couple of things on their costume you should check for first.

NO decorative contact lenses. At least, not without a prescription. Decorative lenses without a prescription may not fit right. And that could lead to scratches or even an ulcer on the eye. No matter how cool they look, it's not worth the next day's pain.

Double check face paint. We all love fun face paint on Halloween. But did you know some kids are allergic? Try putting a small bit of any face paint on your kid's arm first to test for an allergic reaction. And make sure to remove all makeup before bed to keep your child's skin healthy.

Make sure the costume fits. The last thing you want is a mask to slip down and your child to trip and fall.

Choose short, soft and flexible costume accessories. This is to help prevent tripping as well as keeping your kid comfortable.

Now that all the serious rules are out of the way, I have one more… have fun! Halloween can be a little scary. But it's meant to be a great night of bonding for you, your kid and even the candy pail. Have a happy (and safe) Halloween!

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