Halloween, for many, is one of the most fun and carefree holidays of the year! Now that you’ve bought your weight in candy to give out, and have positioned plastic jack o’ lanterns in every window, it’s time to prepare the rest of the family to celebrate safely.
Along with standard precautions such as decorating faces with paint and makeup instead of masks, and limiting trick-or-treaters’ access to cell phones except in an emergency (as well as teaching them how and when to call 911), here are 10 other tips to help protect your mini-me Deadpools, Violet Incredibles, and Black Panthers (Wakanda forever!) while they’re out gathering their weight in candy:
- Light your way and save cell phone battery power. Instead of using the flashlight feature, give each family member a real flashlight.
- Pass on outdoor trick-or-treating. Lots of local organizations—community centers, schools, churches, etc.) host fall festival and “trunk o’ treats” activities, often on the weekend and during the daytime.
- Prepare your yard for visitors. Remove clutter and tripping hazards such as garden hoses and lawn tools. Rake up steep piles of dead leaves. Trim hedges near sidewalks and doorways. Sweep the porch, coat slippery walkways with rock salt or eco-friendly kitty litter. Replace outdoor light bulbs that have burned out.
- Turn on the real-time location-sharing feature on everyone’s cell phone. In addition to selecting specific people to receive this information, you can set the amount of time to keep the feature activated.
- Leave pets at home. Even the most kid-friendly animals can scare some children. And with all the unfamiliar commotion going on, pups can get spooked too! Keep them inside and away from the front door when you’re handing out treats.
<li>Make your own haunted house experience. If your garage faces the street, create a safe maze inside, and wait at the end of it to hand out treats and trinkets. Next year get a couple of neighbors to get in on the fun with their garages too! Sticking closer to home on Halloween can increase the safety factor.
- Provide non-edible treats for the littlest ones. Extend the cheer beyond a few days by giving out special gifts such as pocket-sized coloring books, stickers, and colored chalk (non-toxic, of course).
- Move your cars. If you normally park on the street or in a front-facing driveway, try to move the car into a garage or rear-entry driveway, if possible. The goal is to eliminate as many obstacles as possible on your street that evening. Children may cross the street between parked cars without thinking—or a driver noticing.
- Need bad-weather alternatives? If it’s just too cold (or hot), rainy, or snowy to go outside, host a Family Fright Night! Make something easy for dinner, such as spaghetti and sauce, but with a ghoulish twist. Dye the pasta orange and the sauce black with food coloring. Cue up a “scary” movie and serve popcorn sprinkled with candy eyeballs.
- Be prepared for upset tummies. In case anyone tries to eat their weight in candy before bedtime (adults included), keep OTC staples such as antacids on hand to treat nausea. Also try settling things down with ginger ale and unsalted crackers.
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Have fun this Halloween, and hide some goodies for yourself!