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Keeping Your Kids Safe and Warm This Halloween

Posted on October 23, 2019

jack o lantern with sparklers sticking out of itBags full of candy. The smell of autumn in the air. Kids running house to house in creative and colorful costumes. A slight thrill running through your body at the chance of being scared around every corner. Halloween is definitely a magical night.

But with a bunch of kids running around in the darkness, hopped up on sugar and excitement, it can get a little dangerous out there. Kids dressed up like Batman running out into streets, other kids wearing super thin costumes getting too cold, and then poor little Timmy getting sick from eating too much candy. To help prevent all of these problems and more, we’ve compiled some great tips to keep your kids safe and warm this Halloween.

Have Working Flashlights and Bright Clothing

Before Halloween arrives, it’s important to make sure your kids are clearly visible in the darkness. But often, what your child wants to be for Halloween creates complications. The ideal costume for nighttime visibility has lots of bright colors and whites in it, but you can’t really pull that off is your kid wants to be Batman or a ninja. So, you need to adapt.

First off, make sure to bring bright flashlights with you. Even if they can’t see your little ninja, others will be able to see the flashlight they are holding. Every person who can carry one should have a flashlight of some sort. Be sure that you replace the batteries and test your flashlights ahead of time. Skip the dim yellow flashlights and get bright LED ones.

Next, if your child is wearing dark clothing, add strips of reflective tape to the costume. Ideally, there should be something easily viewable from every angle, including their back. Bonus points if you can make it match the costume, but don’t let aesthetics put your child at risk. If you need to add a long strip to the cape against your child’s wishes, so be it.

Eat a Large, Warm Meal Before Heading Out

people holding a bowl of soup and breadHalloween night can get chilly, so make you and your kids a big bowl of chili!

Your children are going to be burning a lot of energy going house to house. Plus, once the sun goes down, it can get very cold. To help on both fronts, make your children a big warm meal before hitting the streets. Soups, chili, pasta, or meat heavy meals are all great ideas to get them warmed up and full of energy.

A bonus to this is that it should help decrease snacking throughout the night. Less candy eaten that night means less likely to get a sugar rush or tummy ache by the end of the night.

Wear Comfortable and Warm Shoes

The most important piece of clothing for Halloween is your footwear, for both parents and kids. You’re going to be doing a lot of standing and walking, so you need to bring the best shoes you’ve got.

For your children, skip the costume’s flimsy shoes or the princess high heels and just put them in sneakers (or boots if it’s raining or snowing.) This will help keep their feet warm, decrease the chances of blisters, and give them good traction while walking about.

Make Sure the Costumes are Safe

small girl in a dress trick or treating at a homeCostumes, especially elaborate ones, can come with their own types of dangers. It’s important to identify what kind of danger your children’s costumes present and what you need to do to stop it.

The most common costume related danger is tripping. Long princess dresses, Jedi robes, baggy pants, and different footwear all can create tripping hazards for your kids. If needed, make alterations to their costumes to keep clothing up and out of the way of their feet. Similarly, if the costume includes a mask, make sure it sits snug on their face and they can clearly see with it on.

The next common danger is props for the costume. Lightsabers, wands, doctor tools, plastic guns and more can pose issues for your child and those around them. First, the prop likely is taking up a hand, with their other hand carrying their bag of candy. No free hands makes knocking on doors or catching yourself during a fall very difficult. Then, what are they gonna land on? Likely the pointy and slightly sharp prop. So make sure there is a loop or a pocket for the prop because if not, it’ll cause problems.

Trade in the Candy for Money

colorful jelly beansMost kids come back home with a massive haul of candy, which fills parents with a few seconds of pride followed by uncertainty and fear. Maybe you don’t want to have sugar fueled kids for the next month, or afraid they would make themselves sick that night, or just dislike the idea of them eat all the candy.

One idea to help limit your child’s candy intake is to do a “candy for cash” trade with them. For example, for each piece of candy they give up, you give them a nickel, or however much you feel comfortable doing. Some dentists or doctors even have programs that do just that to encourage healthy eating. It’s a great plan because your kids get some money and you get peace of mind that they won’t be devouring several pounds of sugar.

Plus, you can take that money and turn it into a lesson about saving. This is a great opportunity to encourage your child to save that money and put it towards something special. If your kids don’t have one yet, open up a Super Star Youth Savings account at Pioneer for them so they can start learning the value of saving money and how to make a deposit.

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