Denise Mathews, Realtor, is a Northwest Indiana born, raised, and lifelong resident and multiple business owner. Join her in exploring The Region thru the Northwest Indiana Living website & social media sites.

For most parents, the thought of dressing up their kids to trick-or-treat at an unsecured home or neighborhood is enough to make them want to crawl under the covers. You are understandably worried about the kids staying safe on Halloween. But before you run for your candy stash, take a second to consider why it’s so difficult on us parents.

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Photo Credit: Photo by Jill Wellington

It’s not just because you fear your little ones will get hurt—it’s also because you want them to have a great time like you did when you were a kid. Except times have changed…staying safe on Halloween is a different ballgame.

Regardless, Halloween is enjoyed by about 65% of the population, according to data-collector Statista, so you better have a plan. 

Keep reading to learn how to keeping the kids safe this Halloween doesn’t mean ruining the spooky spirit or limiting your child’s imagination and fun.

Create A Safe Trick Or Treat Route

Research and pre-plan a safe route and stick to it. Avoid busy intersections and secluded, poorly lit areas. Look for wide-walkable sidewalks or walk facing traffic.

NW Indiana Trick Or Treat Hours

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Graphic Credit: Town Planner.com

Get To Know Your Neighborhood

The communities in Northwest Indiana vary greatly in terms of safety so it’s imperative that you know your neighborhood. Walk the area in the light of day and look for potential hazards to avoid.

Dig even deeper and check local crime maps. While walking the potential route, look for animals that may become a problem.

Make sure your older kids stay in a designated area and check in often, and even use one of the many tracking apps like Life 360.

 

Set Up Neighborhood Activity Stations

Get some other neighbors together who care about staying safe on Halloween and set up supervised activity stations along the route. The idea is to provide organized and safe “hubs of activity” around the neighborhood where kids can spend supervised time at.

Offer apple dunking, water or cider station, or even a magician at the Activity Stations. And don’t forget the most important part – responsible chaperones to keep the kids safe.

Consider Hosting A Halloween Party For More Control

If the Ultimate in staying safe on Halloween is your goal, host a full-blown Halloween Party! For children with food allergies, this may be the perfect way to ensure food safety on Halloween as well as let your child have fun.

Keep your guest list to people you know. Hold the party in a safe, secure environment. Provide ample chaperones. A party is a great way to keep the kids off the streets and in your sights.

Inspect Their Candy Before They Eat It

One of the oldest Halloween safety rules is: DO NOT eat any candy before your parents inspect it. Only accept sealed, factory-wrapped candy. Homemade or fresh goodies can be tampered with easier.

Some drugs can look like candy. Read the packaging on products you are not familiar with.

Trick Or Treat With A Group

Trick or treat with a group of friends or family for added safety on Halloween night. Groups of people are more easily seen at night than the odd individual. Make sure there are adults in the group that can keep an eye on the kids.

Decide On A Costume Ahead Of Time

Plan out your costume ahead of time so you can make sure you follow the best practices in Halloween safety. Make sure your costume is flame retardant, a must-have around lit pumpkins and spooky candles.

Try to steer clear of loose or long costumes that could be a tripping hazard and dark clothing that makes it hard to be seen. Keep props to a minimum so your hands are free. Consider face paint instead of vision-blocking masks.

 

Halloween-face-painting-is-safer-than-masks

Use A Flashlight Or Reflective Materials When Walking At Night

Staying safe on Halloween gets challenging in the dark of the night. Make sure you can both see and be seen by others when walking at night.

Use a flashlight to see your path. Use reflective clothing or accessories so cars can see you.

Don’t Be A Scrooge!

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Remember when we were kids: Whose house or car NEVER gets egged on Halloween? On my block, it was definitely the guy that gave out full-size candy bars! But beware if you’re the house that turns out the lights and doesn’t play along.

Halloween is notoriously a prank day. Don’t be caught on the wrong side. Not all treats are created equal… Besides, be a good neighbor and participate in this favorite kids holiday.

Don’t Forget About Safety When You Decorate For Halloween

Not all decorations go hand in hand with staying safe on Halloween. For one thing, there are lit candles everywhere!

Consider using battery-operated candles or glow sticks. Make sure you use outdoor-rated extension cords, and don’t overload them. Avoid decorating with dried flowers and cornstalks a they catch fire easily.

Don’t Neglect Safety In The Name Of Pranks

Halloween is the one holiday when older kids are apt to get a little mischevious. While pranks are allowed, staying safe on Halloween is still priority #1.

Lock It Up! Lock It Up! Lock It Up!

There are about 17% more crime-related claims, like property destruction and theft, on Halloween night, according to Travelers Insurance. It’s easy to see why when your attention is on the trick-or-treaters at your front door.

You can prevent alot of it by taking precautions. Lock up your backdoor, windows, garage, shed and automobiles. Put your bikes and outdoor toys away. Don’t let thieves, or even mischievous pranksters, have easy access to your stuff.

Bottom Line

Halloween is a great time to get into some family bonding (and chaperoning). It’s also a perfect time to remind kids what’s really important — staying safe on Halloween night, always.

While it’s important for kids to have fun and enjoy the holiday with their friends, there are some things parents can do to keep their children safe and enjoy the festivities.

The key is to have a real talk with your kids about staying safe on Halloween, whether you’re spending the night at home or going trick-or-treating. Make sure they know what you expect from them while they’re out on the streets, and then help them along the way.

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