Top 5 Halloween Safety Tips

Real moms and experts share safety tips as part of the Care.com Interview Series

halloween pumpkin containers
On Halloween night, little goblins, ghouls, pumpkins, and ghosts take to the streets in their adorable costumes, and it's our job as parents to keep them safe, and help them have a good time! "Halloween is one the greatest nights of the year for kids--to keep it great, we must keep it safe," says officer James Kenneally of the Boston Police Department. With that in mind, we asked our favorite mom bloggers and our friends on Facebook to weigh in with their advice and safety tips to make Halloween night safe and enjoyable for all.

1. Stick to the familiar. Ilana Wiles, who chronicles her NYC family adventures in Mommy Shorts, gave us the city perspective: "Since we are in Manhattan, people mainly go to the doors in their own building or the buildings of their friends. It's very contained and I'm guessing way safer than in the suburbs." Officer Kenneally agrees: "If you can, stay in your neighborhood to trick-or-treat. It's likely you'll know the people handing out candy. There's also less likelihood of kids getting lost."

2. Stay visible. It's always a smart idea to take a flashlight and hang glowing lights around your child's neck, but Elizabeth Demers of the blog Bumpsmitten takes it one step further, pulling her children in a wagon with reflectors. "That way, drivers can see us, and tired kiddies can get a ride to the next house," she says.

3. Look for the welcome signs. Hard to believe, but some folks just don't have the Halloween spirit. Officer Kenneally advises, "Trick-or-treat at well-lit homes. Some people may not be in the spirit to trick-or-treat, but well-lit homes decorated with carved pumpkins are a good place to approach."

4. Practice wearing costumes before the big day. Our Facebook fan Tara Lindsay knows a lot about this one. She noted, "Toddlers in long pretty hoop-skirted princess costumes and the front stairs on every neighbors house are not, in fact, a wise combination. Trust me." Another Facebook fan, Becky Lyons Borgia, agrees, adding: "Have your child wear their costume a few times before Halloween to make sure it not only fits them well, but to get comfortable navigating in it. Have them practice climbing stairs in it, too. Make sure children wearing masks can see well out of the eyeholes -- if they can't, make the holes bigger before the big day."

5. When in doubt, throw it out! Mother of five, Angie Lee of Seven Clown Circus is diligent about checking her kids' loot, even if they only trick-or-treat in their neighborhood. "The kids never get to go alone, and I always inspect the candy when we get home," she says. "Any candy that is open must be thrown away," adds Jen Mitchell, the blogger behind Buried With Children. Many police stations offer inspection services and can even run candy under a metal detector. It's worth a phone call to see if your town police offer this courtesy to families on Halloween night.

>>Looking for ideas on how to make the most out of Halloween? From last-minute costume ideas to recipes for fantastic Halloween party treats, Care.com has everything you need for a spooktacular Halloween this year!


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Comments (2)
Cathy A.
Great advice for a safe and enjoyable Halloween! Thank you for the safety tips!
Posted: October 20, 2011 at 9:40 PM
Sharon D.
Metal detectors for candy?!?!?! Seems a bit too much to me! But then again, I would keep my kid in a helmet at all times if it were socially acceptable! ;)
Posted: October 20, 2011 at 12:37 PM
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