October is here, which means that Halloween is just around the corner. Many families are already planning Halloween parties, buying costumes for themselves and their kids, putting up scary decorations and most importantly, giving out candy to trick or treaters. Halloween is lots of fun, but it can be dangerous if parents don’t plan and prepare their kids properly. As you plan for the big day, here are some helpful hints to ensure that you have a happy and safe Halloween:
- Never trick or treat alone – Kids, going out with a group of friends or with a parent is the most responsible and safest way to have a good time.
- Have a flashlight or wear lighted clothing– There will be lots of kids walking around after dark in neighborhoods and around busy streets. Cars can’t always see you, especially in poorly lit areas. Parents, make sure that you always keep yourself and your kids visible to vehicles at all times.
- Plan a route – This is especially for teenagers who like to go trick or treating without their parents. Discuss with your parents which neighborhoods you plan on visiting, and stick to it.
- Discuss do’s and don’ts – Parents, rehearse with your children on how to handle situations, such as what to do if you’re approached by a stranger while walking, what to do if a stranger invites you inside his/her house, and what to do if you become separated from your group.
- Have a parent inspect candy before eating – Kids, it is very important to have mom or dad make sure that the candy that you received from a night of trick or treating has not been tampered with in any way. Parents, make sure that your kids know not to eat any candy until it has been inspected by mom or dad first.
- Check the sex offender registry online – Many have thought about it, now’s the time to do it. The sex offender registry is a valuable tool that can be used to let you know who’s in the neighborhood, where they are, and which houses to avoid. The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry web address is www.widocoffenders.org
- Always have a plan in case you get separated – It can be chaotic out there. Hundreds of kids and parents walking around in the neighborhood. Groups of parents and kids talking to one another. It’s dark, there’s excitement, noise and most of all, candy. It’s very easy to lose sight from your group. Be sure to have a safe meeting place in case someone gets lost.
- Communication – Make sure that you remember who’s in your group, and keep a constant head count. Make sure that at least two people in your group has a cell phone in case some separate from the group, or in case of an emergency
- Kids, have fun – Halloween is a special day. For some kids, this may be their first Halloween experience. Enjoy it and be safe.
- Parents, have fun too – This is your special day as well. Enjoy it. Take pictures and/or movies of the big event. Some go out with their kids, depending on their ages. Some make haunted houses and host parties. Whatever you like to do, have a great time. After all, it will probably be the last neighborhood get-together before the weather turns cold.
These are just some helpful tips to ensure that you and your kids have a healthy, happy and safe Halloween.
Trick or Treat!!!