Photo by Rebecca Conway
Hallows’ Eve is creeping upon us fast! Tied with this celebration is one of the best traditions that kids and even adults have come to enjoy: trick or treat! And while your little ones are out on the roads at night, trick or treat safety is definitely on you mind. Kids traipsing around the neighborhood in creative costumes are definitely a fun sight to see. Some opt for the scary ones, while others go for the funny versions. Back in the Middle-Ages when trick-or-treating (also known as ‘guising’) began, people dressed up exclusively as evil spirits during the said Celtic tradition. The purpose of this was to defend the wearer from demons roaming the earth.
Back then, adults would knock on the doors and ask for money or food. In exchange, they will sing a song for the soul of the dead. This was known as ‘souling’. Of course, nobody does this anymore in exchange for a bucket of 3 Musketeers. It would be pretty good though. #justasuggestion
So, where were we? Ah, the safety tips. Let’s start with the very basic: the trick or treat area.
“Let’s be adventurous this year! Let’s go to a different location. I heard they’re giving more candies at Chainsaw St. in We Kidnap Kids for Breakfast village.” Don’t get us wrong, you can fulfill that adventurous itch, but make sure that you’re going to bring your kids to a place you know is safe.
Do you know anyone in the area? Is it a crime hotspot? We don’t want to scare you or anything, but there have been reports that there’s an uptick in crimes during Halloween. The reason is quite simple and logical, really. Perpetrators can easily disguise themselves without the unwanted attention.
We all want our kids to have the best costume during trick or treat, and some of us go beyond the usual. That’s a-okay. However, if you’re going to make your kid the star of Halloween night, do it with utmost safety in mind.
Ensure that there are no protruding sharps or loose straps that can hurt your child. If you’re son wants to be Groot, fine. He has to be able to walk while playing Groot, and not stumble every couple of steps. If you’re planning to put makeup to complete his character, choose the kid-friendly, non-toxic version. Makeup is far better than masks. You can also add reflective stickers to the costume for easy visibility.
Trick or Treat Safety Essentials
Those who have the list of essentials can skip this part (hello there, Type A personality SmartMoms! I’m with you!). If you don’t have them yet, here’s a quick checklist of the things you need to bring:
- Glow-in-the-dark sticks
- Whistle – Give each kid a whistle and teach them how to use it in case someone dubious approaches them.
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone – This is particularly helpful for bigger kids who prefer to go trick-or-treating with friends. But please make sure that the phone’s battery is full or have him/her bring a power bank just in case.
As much as possible, trick-or-treaters should have strict adult supervision.
Encourage a ‘buddy system’ whether the parent is present or not. Ask your child to stay with her buddy at all times. Being in a large group is naturally better – strength in numbers.
Choose a well-lit area.
Stay on sidewalks and walk against traffic. You can easily spot oncoming cars this way.
Be alert! Do not use your iPod while trick-or-treating. You need to be aware of what’s going on around you so that you can act accordingly.
It is always better to be safe, than sorry. The end goal is to have as much fun as possible, but being safe is a SmartMom’s priority!