Kids & Parenting

What is safe Halloween fun?

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Halloween is fun but it can also be dangerous
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Staying safe on Halloween is imperative and you can, of course, still have fun

Kids and adults alike love Halloween because it is the one time of the year that you can dress up in a bizarre costume and no one thinks twice about it. In fact, the more bizarre or scary the costume is, the better.

Halloween involves pumpkin carving, visits to haunted houses and hay rides through haunted corn fields, parades, costume contests, going trick or treating “begging” for candy, attending Halloween parties and telling ghoulish tales that scare the heck out of your friends. Halloween is fun for sure, but it can also be dangerous. A safe Halloween is a fun Halloween. Safe Halloween fun entails being smart about what you do.

Costumes can obscure vision, and they’re also tripping hazards. Make sure that the costume that your child or you is wearing allows you to see where you’re going. When trick or treating, children must be very careful about crossing the street because it is dark and their costume may be dark and drivers can’t see them. Remove masks before crossing the street so you can make sure there is no oncoming traffic.

Carry a flashlight and attach something reflective to your costume that will glow when headlights shine on it. Carry glow-sticks so you can be seen. Always travel in a group. Even older children should not trick or treat alone. 

Parents should always accompany their young children when they go out on Beggar’s Night. The weirdos tend to surface on Halloween. Instruct your children never to go into a stranger’s home and not to eat any candy before you have examined it. The homemade goodies, such as popcorn balls, are a real treat but there could be something in them, although we hate to think this, such as razor blades or pills or some type of poison. Yes, there are spoil sports in the world that apparently take great joy in turning a festive and fun occasion into something that you have to be leery about.

Give your older children a stern talking to. Inform them that Halloween pranks, such as soaping the windows of someone’s car or egging a vehicle or tossing rolls of toilet paper in someone’s yard are vandalism, and they could be arrested. Furthermore, explain to them (which they should already know) that they are causing some innocent victim a lot of grief. He’ll have to spend time in the morning cleaning off his car and cleaning the toilet paper from his lawn. This is certainly not fun for him. Vandalism can get you arrested and a date with the juvenile court judge.

The older child that is going out unaccompanied by his parents must tell his mom and dad exactly what route he and his friends are taking while trick or treating. The child should be equipped with a cell phone so the parents can stay in touch. Instruct your child to stick to the main beats. Don’t walk down alleys or through fields. Stay in well lit areas. Tell your child that he must be home by such and such time and stick to it. If he’s not home, go looking for him. There is generally a curfew set by the city. Most kids have to off the streets and in their homes by 8 p.m. during the Halloween season. 

Some colleges (Ohio University) are notorious for their Halloween celebrations, which sometimes turn into debacles. If your child is a college student, you can’t and shouldn’t forbid him from attending an event such as this, but you can encourage him to keep his head and not get carried away drinking or engaging in other illicit activities that can turn a fun time into a night in jail and an arrest record. Try to get across the message that you don’t have to be bombed out of your mind to have a good time.

Safe Halloween fun is a good Halloween. Don’t allow poor judgment to ruin what can otherwise be one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year.


CDC: Halloween Health and Safety Tips

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Halloween Safety

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