Happy spooky season! 👻
It’s Halloween week and the festivities are in full swing as we get closer to the best event of all – Trick or Treating!
Taking your kids trick or treating is an exciting and memorable time for everyone. Between the costumes and candy, the smiles and scares — everyone is sure to have fun.
All of the build-up to Halloween night can make us forget just how important it is to be prepared and safe, though. If this is your first time taking your little ghosts out, you may be wondering what you might need to bring with you. If you’ve been around the block a few times, then this post may be a helpful reminder to take safety precautions – even on a holiday night.
So, here are 9 tips to staying safe this Halloween!
1. Go Out Early
When I used to think of Halloween, I’d picture it being dark outside and everyone doing the dance to Thriller in the middle of the street. That would still be wicked cool, but more realistically, a lot of people are out a good hour or so before the sun goes down — and after having kids, I totally understand why now!
I’d recommend heading out to trick or treat before dark and finishing up your evening just before bedtime. It’s much easier to see where you are going and keep a good eye on your little ones as they go from door to door when it’s still light outside. It’s also safer, as it avoids party-goers and possible reckless drivers. Not to mention, most people are home at this time eating dinner, so you’re likely to get more candy!
2. Know The Neighborhood
If you’re not trick or treating on your own street, then be sure to know the neighborhood that you are going to be visiting. I wouldn’t recommend just driving somewhere and not knowing what to expect.
Some things to consider when deciding where to trick or treat are:
- Having to remember where you parked
- How well the area is lit
- Whether there are sidewalks or not
- How well the roads are paved
Nothing would be worse than twisting your ankle in a pot hole you didn’t know existed and not being able to find your car — Now, THAT’S scary.
3. Go With Friends
If you do happen to go to a different neighborhood to trick or treat, try inviting a few friends or family members to join you. Not only is it safer having all those eyes on the kids, but it’s also way more fun!
We’ve traveled to Celebration in Orlando for Halloween with several of our family members that were visiting Disney and it was one of the best experiences! Having extra hands allowed us to take turns doing different things — walk the kids up to the doors, pull the wagon, wear the baby — all while exploring this new place together.
When there are more kids involved, you can use the buddy system while trick or treating. No one will have to walk up and down from houses alone and it will make head counts go much smoother.
6. Bring Safety Gear
When you’re packing a bag for your Halloween night adventure, there are multiple things to add to your list that you might not be thinking about or forget to consider. Here are a few:
- Reflective Lights
- Closed-toed Shoes
- Emergency Bracelet
- Portable Charger
- Bug Spray
- Light Jacket*
Kids love carrying flashlights, so this shouldn’t be hard to get them to do. We got these great little lanterns from the dollar store that we bring with us for any of our nighttime ventures. We can clip them to the stroller as well, if needed.
Reflective lights help drivers see pedestrians walking, so if you can get these, they are good to have too.
Make sure everyone has on sneakers or shoes for walking — you might not be able to see everything along walkways or when crossing the streets. No one likes a stubbed toe.
Pack a few waters to bring with you. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the evening, especially if you’re like us and live in Florida! The temperatures are still pretty warm, so my boys get sweaty before the night is over. Having water on hand is always a must for us.
Have your kids make an emergency bracelet with your phone number on it, so that if they get lost, an adult will be able to call you immediately.
Speaking of phones, I’m totally guilty of never having my phone fully charged. A portable charger is a life saver because it allows me to take as many photos as I want to, while still keeping a charged phone. You can use your phone’s map to see where you are, as well as use it for any emergencies.
Bug spray is a good preventative to have. It’s not something I’m always thinking about when packing, but it is nice to bring along to keep any bugs off of the little ones and out of their faces. I also like to bring a couple bandaids just in case.
*If the weather is cooler in your area, don’t forget to grab a light jacket for your tots. Sweating from all the walking can actually make them colder, so it’s best to bring one, even if it doesn’t seem needed. The same goes for an umbrella if you’re going to expect a drizzle.
If you need a reminder, feel free to save this trick or treating checklist to use when packing for the evening!
5. Bring Mobile Carriers
Trick or treating is a lot of work for tiny humans. Going up and down drive-ways is likely to tire out your little beans pretty quickly. I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to have something for them to climb into when they start to get tired — and believe me, they will.
I know that bringing these things may seem like more of a hassle. Yes, you’ll have to maneuver through neighboring houses and push it empty for more than half of the time. But! Pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon is a heck of a lot easier than carrying your 30lb sweaty four-year-old dressed in a full Chewbacca bodysuit.
Plus, they can hold all of your other junk for the majority of the time.
4. Use The Sidewalks
This may seem like common sense, but we’ve all been there. It only takes one second for a toddler or young child to get distracted. No matter how many times you have to redirect your kids to the sidewalk or say “get out of the road,” it’s worth keeping them out of the way of any moving vehicles. The sidewalks are there for a reason, so even if you get stuck behind the slower group, it’s still keeping everyone safe!
7. Teach Your Children Safety
The more your ghouls and goblins know about safety, the less you will have to keep reminding them! Tell your child the importance of staying close to the grown-ups during trick or treating and what they should do to practice safety.
My kids know to look both ways before crossing a road, but don’t always remember, so holding hands is a stronger reminder because they can feel it. Using the buddy system is a big one for us!
Kids should also know to always take off their masks or glasses between houses because they can obstruct their view when walking. Let them put them back on when they get to the next house.
8. Go To A Community Event Instead
If you don’t have a plan for Halloween and need a safe place to trick or treat, check for local events that are happening in your community. Oftentimes, you will find something going on.
There are tons of “Trunk or Treats”, usually held by churches, that allow your kids to safely participate by going up to a line of cars with their trunks open with volunteers handing out candy. We did one of these last year and they had bounce houses, games and food trucks as well. All of the trunks were themed differently, so each was a fun surprise!
Police departments, libraries and other local services usually offer family-friendly events in lieu of trick or treating that are still really enjoyable as well.
9. Check Your Candy
Regardless of where you go to trick or treat, one for the most important things to remember is to check the candy before giving any of it to your children — including sneaking one for yourself.
The first reason being allergies. Whether your child has an allergy or you’re not sure, start with one brand and slowly introduce others. If they do have a reaction, you’ll know which candy they can no longer have and are more likely to spot it before it worsens.
The other reason is the possibility of candy being laced with anything else. There are way too many media stories of Halloween candy having traces of other substances! You may think it couldn’t happen to you, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Raising Whasians shared a really helpful infographic on how closely medicine and candy look alike. Never keep your medicines in reach of your own children so that they don’t get their hands on anything potentially dangerous!
Never accept whole fruit or pre-opened snacks or containers when trick or treating. While it may seem friendly and healthier, it’s still coming from a complete stranger. You can bring some of these things along with you if any of the littles are in need of something better to nibble on.
If you’re worried about how much sugar your kids are getting, store some away for special days and occasions. Just be sure to check that the package seals aren’t broken or torn before handing them over.
If you know of any other great tips, feel free to share!
Trick or treating is tons of fun, especially if you know everyone is safe. Practice these tips while trick or treating and enjoy a spooktacular Halloween night! Thanks for reading! 🎃