LIFE

8 Trick-Or-Treating Safety Tips Every Parent Needs To Know

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

We may not officially be kids anymore, but here at LittleThings, we’re all kids at heart!

In other words, we’re practically counting down the days until Halloween, one of the most awesome holidays of the year.

After all, even grown-ups look forward to the opportunity to wear a silly costume and eat tons of candy with minimal guilt. For kids, the sugar rush begins long before anyone actually starts handing out candy!

But if you’re accompanying a trick-or-treater on their route this year, now might be a good time to temper a little bit of that excitement and remind the small witches and monsters in your life that Halloween comes with ground rules.

After all, Halloween can be chaotic, and the whole point is that it’s a little bit scary. That can be a recipe for trouble, unless you make a plan of attack first, and make sure your kiddos are on board with a few safety tips!

Here are our go-to tips for making sure that Halloween is as safe as it is fun!

Safety Tip #1: Leave Masks At Home

Painting face
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Masks are a long-standing part of Halloween, but we think there’s a lot to be said for skipping this particular tradition.

Wearing a mask can impair your vision, especially on the periphery, and leave kids more vulnerable to getting startled or tripping over something.

Instead, consider swapping for simple, kid-safe face paint that won’t block the eyes or get tangled in any tree branches!

Safety Tip #2: Go Glow-In-The-Dark

Frog costume
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Depending on the age of your kiddos, you’ll probably be out trick-or-treating in the early evening, which means that it will already be dark or getting there.

To make the night as safe as possible, make sure all the kids in your group are clearly visible, even in the shadows.

Bright and colorful costumes (preferably with reflective patches!) are best, and kids set on wearing dark costumes should carry flashlights and wear glow necklaces or bracelets.

Safety Tip #3: Nix The Names

Leave bucket with name on it at home
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When you’re bringing your own kids and a whole gaggle of their friends, it can be tempting to write everyone’s name on their candy bag to keep people from getting into squabbles.

Instead, consider assigning each kid his or her own color or symbol, and make sure their names aren’t on any of their stuff.

Unfortunately, Halloween can be a lure for predators, and it’s better if there aren’t any clearly visible ways to identify the kids on their costumes or bags.

Safety Tip #4: Make A Game Plan

Checking watch
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Long before you leave the house to set out on your sugar-seeking mission, it’s important to plan out your route!

Not only does this ensure that you’ll make it to the house that always gives out full-size candy bars, it will help your kids know where to go in case they accidentally get separated.

Also, set a time and place to meet and check in before you leave, especially if you have older kids who are going their separate way with friends.

Safety Tip #5: No Eating On The Job

Don't eat candy before you get home
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We aren’t going to tell grown-ups they can’t sneak a bite of candy during the night, but it’s a better idea to skip it and set a good example for the kids.

Aside from the obvious danger of certain small people getting a sugar rush then crashing and becoming deeply cranky, there are other dangers to snacking along your route.

For one thing, it can be a hazardous distraction while you’re walking. For another, it’s a good idea to check all your candy at home before you eat it — more on that later.

Safety Tip #6: Stow Your Phone

Keep your phone in your purse
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When you go out on Halloween night, it’s important that you have your phone with you and fully charged, with the volume on. If your kids have phones, they should have them too.

After all, you never know when you’re going to need to go pick up a wayward child or meet up with a spouse or friend on a different route.

But make sure your phone stays in your bag unless you actually need it, because it can majorly distract you while your kids run off in another direction.

Safety Tip #7: Drive Cautiously

Driving past boy in robot costume
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If at all possible, we advise staying off the streets on Halloween night. It’s going to be chaos and the traffic is probably the scariest thing about the holiday.

But if you need to go pick somebody up from a Halloween party or pick up last-minute reinforcements of candy bars, make sure you go slowly and keep your headlights (but not your high beams) on the entire time, even if it’s not really dark yet.

Kids, no matter how many times you tell them, will occasionally just walk out in front of oncoming cars, and it’s a really good idea to be prepared for that possibility.

Safety Tip #8: Check Your Loot

Checking Halloween candy
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When you get home, before you so much as taste a single chocolate bar, check all your candy to make sure it’s safe to eat.

Fruit, homemade treats, and candy wrappers with broken or torn wrappers need to go straight in the trash. The risk of finding razors or anything else scary in Halloween candy is low, but better safe than sorry.

Meanwhile, anything that’s still wrapped and intact should be totally safe to eat!

Enjoy and have a happy Halloween!

If you follow Halloween safety tips every year, make sure to SHARE this list with any other trick-or-treating families you know!