Halloween can be a fun time for your family and children, especially when it comes to trick or treating, but it can also be dangerous. Lets review some common Halloween safety tips that can keep your kids safe this Halloween. Halloween safety should be every parent’s top priority, and with so many things to be aware of, it can be a lot to keep track of. Here are some Halloween safety tips to help for a safe trick or treating experience this season.

Be Present With Your Children

It should be obvious, but its surprising how many children I see each year wandering the streets without a responsible adult present. If you are trick or treating, stay close to your child, especially if they are younger. Its much easier to keep them safe from 2 feet away as opposed to 20 feet away.

Dressing to Protect

One of the best things about Halloween is the variety of costumes. While there are a lot of dark and scary themes associated with the holiday, that doesn’t mean your child’s costume has to be. Your children’s costumes and bags should at least have some bright color associated with them. For young children, opt for brightly colored costumes rather than dark costumes. If your child is older and insists on something darker, accent the costume with reflective tape (such as using it to make the eyes of their mask ‘glow’), or have them wear a glow stick. You as a parent should also wear light colors, especially if not in costume.

Picking the Right Bag

When picking a trick or tread bag, you’ll want to pick something bright. If your kid’s costume is dark and uses a lot of black, the bag can help offset this and drastically increase visibility. Getting a reflective bag or accenting the bag with reflective materials can also help make sure your child is seen.

Being Seen Isn’t All There Is

While making sure drivers can see you is very important, it doesn’t really help much if you can’t see yourself. Drivers aren’t the only hazards out on Halloween, so you’ll want to make sure you can at least see where you’re going. Having multiple flashlights (preferably one for every person in your group) makes sure you’ll be able to see where your going after it gets dark and also adds another source of visibility for drivers on the road. Having flashlights and new batteries are important, and even packing some extra batteries might be a good idea. Also be sure to test your flashlights before you leave to make sure the bulb is working. These Halloween safety tips may sound common, but you’ll be surprised on how many parents over look these.

Picking Your Route

When deciding where to go when trick or treating, it’s important to be aware of drivers on the road, especially if you’re in a busy area with a lot of traffic. When walking on the sidewalk or in the street, always face traffic so you can see cars coming, just in case you need to react quickly. The headlights of the cars will also make sure you’re visible to them, especially if you’ve been following the rest of these guidelines to help with making sure you stand out at night. When crossing the street, always make sure it is at a corner, and if possible make sure there is a traffic signal with a cross walk. A lack of traffic signals can make quiet side streets especially dangerous, as there also aren’t as many street lights in small side streets and neighborhoods. Also plan your route so that you travel as far as you can in one direction before crossing to the other side of the street to double back.

Check Your Local Ordinances

While this might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking Halloween safety, many towns have local laws and ordinances governing certain trick or treating activities. While they aren’t often enforced, it is a good idea to look over your local guidelines for trick or treating just to be on the safe side, especially if you have older children who are planning to go out trick or treating.

Stay Safe

Following these tips should help keep you safe this Halloween, but it’s important to be aware and use common sense. While Halloween can be a fun time for families, it’s also notorious for mischief, so be prepared for anything. Always keep your children close by, and keep together as a group. Not only will this make you and your group more noticeable, it’ll also discourage any troublemakers from harassing you. Keep your wits about you, stay somewhat local if you can, and plan out which houses and neighborhoods you’ll visit before you go out, rather than just figuring things out on the fly. Lastly, remember to have fun!