Halloween is a celebration of scary.
We binge on horror movies, deck our houses out with spiders and bats (and hope that any actual spiders and bats passing by don’t get the wrong idea), and pay admission to be chased around by creepy clowns and hungry zombies and all the other characters from our worst nightmares and our favorite TV shows. We get scared on purpose, because if we know it’s all pretend, it’s easy to just shake off the shivers when we’re done with them.
While the monsters might be make-believe, there are some very real safety concerns to be aware of on Halloween. Does this mean you should skip the festivities and just sit at home in the light of your Pinterest-inspired jack-o-lanterns trying to figure out which cobwebs are real and which ones are decorative? Absolutely not! We’re here to share a few tricks to help make your Halloween nothing but a treat.
How do you Halloween?
There are a lot of ways you can handle Halloween candy as a parent.
Maybe you take the “eat it all tonight and get it over with” approach.
Maybe the Switch Witch comes to your house the day after Halloween and exchanges all the sugar for something less dentally detrimental, like a cool new toy.
Or you could be a “do whatever you want as long as you give me all the Reese’s Cups” kind of parent.
What you do once the pumpkin buckets and pillowcases are full is up to you. Before you head out to trick-or-treat this year, though, it’s a good idea to check a few items off the old Halloween safety checklist.
Masks are kind of a Halloween tradition, but they’re not always the safest disguise, especially for trick-or-treating. While your little ghosts/goblins/princess’/Lego Batmen/superhero-firefighter-ballerina-kittycats are charging from house to house with a fervor that could only be inspired by the promise of candy (or stickers, temporary tattoos, toy spiders they can hide in your bed, etc.), there’s a good chance their mask will slip and obstruct their vision (which, let’s face it, will already be of the tunnel variety). At best, this might result in spilled candy and skinned knees. At worst, your little one could fall and break a bone or run in front of a car. So if your kiddo’s costume of choice involves a mask, maybe snap a few Instagram-worthy photos at home, then suggest removing the mask before you hit the candy trail.
Good alternatives to masks are makeup and/or face paint, but if you go that route, make sure you buy products that are safe for use on skin and test a small area to check for allergic reactions before you go to town on that full-coverage Spiderman design your child picked out. You’ll also want to make sure that you wash everything off before bedtime, so when sugar crashes seem imminent, just start chasing your kids around with makeup remover wipes. This cardio activity should burn off the mini Butterfinger you snagged when they weren’t looking.
Sadly, children are TWICE as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween as on any other day of the year. Even if you’re a textbook helicopter parent (here’s a costume idea for you if that’s the case), it can be next to impossible to catch a runaway toddler in the crowds and chaos of trick-or-treating. Here are a few ways you can help prevent an accident:
• Add reflective tape to costumes.
• Deck your kids out in glow-in-the-dark accessories.
• Carry a pocket flashlight with you (or use the flashlight feature on your phone) for any poorly-lit parts of the neighborhood.
• Speaking of your phone, try to keep it in your pocket unless you’re using it as a flashlight. We’ve all been that mom who just can’t wait to post photos of her little pumpkins in their Halloween costumes, but your phone can be a dangerous distraction.
• Talk to your family beforehand about pedestrian safety rules and best practices. You’ve probably had the “Hey, kids, stop and look both ways before you cross the street!” talk before, but a refresher course is always a good idea.
We all know that candy is kind of bad for us, but everything in moderation, right? However, sometimes the dangers are bigger than calories and cavities, so make sure you teach your children a few safety guidelines. The best rule of thumb is to wait until you get home to let everyone dig into the loot, but if that’s just not realistic, tell your kids they can’t eat anything until you’ve had a look at it.
• Inspect candy wrappers to make sure the factory seal is intact.
• Make sure treats are age-appropriate (i.e., not a choking hazard for your child).
• It’s not too common for kids to receive homemade treats at Halloween anymore (and if they do, it’s probably from your sweet elderly neighbor who has the best of intentions), but it’s still worth a reminder that only store-bought, individually-wrapped treats should be eaten.
• If your child has food allergies or other dietary restrictions, you undoubtedly have your own (much more detailed) safety rules. If anyone in your neighborhood is participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project, you can count on those houses for safe, non-edible treats. If not, take a few minutes to learn about this awesome project and think about encouraging your community to take part next year!
Safe and sound
At Our Life CoveredSM, we know that keeping your family safe is more important to you than anything. We hope the tips above will help you do just that this Halloween. In the bigger picture, though, there’s no better way to protect your loved ones EVERY day than with the right life insurance policy…and of course we would love to help with that, too.
If you’d like to learn more, head over to ourlifecovered.com. We’re not passing out full-size Snickers bars, but we can help you out with a free quote, a completely clickable application process, and a carefully curated selection of reliable, affordable life insurance options.