The time has come when my older child is more interested in trick-or-treating with her friends than she is in collecting candy with dear ‘ole mom. It’s a sad day, friends. I’m really not ready for this for a multitude of reasons, and worrying about her safety is at the top of the list. But I know that at some point I need to loosen the reigns here and let her grow up.
6 Halloween Safety Tips for Older Kids
Halloween is coming right up and I’ve got some smart and simple tips you can use to keep your older kids safe while they’re out ringing doorbells with their friends. Read these with them. Talk to them (that is really tip #1). This stuff is smart whether it’s Halloween or any other day of the year.
Travel With a Friend
This is probably the whole point, right? They want to go out with their buddies and not with you (insert crying mother face here). But what I mean here is that while they might be traveling in a herd of kids, make sure your kid has one buddy who is checking that they didn’t get left behind anywhere along the way. That 1:1 buddy system is better than getting to house number 10 and realizing no one has seen Tommy since house number 6. Pick one friend to be checking in with throughout the night.
Plan a Course & A Return Time in Advance
The plan can’t be to just go out and wander until they feel like coming home. Plan a course (moms, you’re going to know which houses are giving the best candy so lead with that – you’re welcome), and stick to it. Make sure someone has a watch or a phone with a clock on it and agree to a return time so everyone knows where the limits are for the night.
Trick-Or-Treat Only Where The Lights Are (And Stay Outside)
No running up to ring doorbells on houses that don’t have lights on. And under no circumstances should kids go inside of a house or a car. Make sure your children know they are to stay in well-lit areas and outside at all times.
Eyes Up, Phones Down
I know as a parent who has had to drive on trick-or-treat night that it is HARD to see some of these kids. They have dark costumes and just run right out in the road. Make a rule: Put your phone down while you’re walking and watch where you’re going. Cross the street at intersections and crosswalks. Pay attention, head up, and be aware.
Stay Well Lit
Related to the last tip, your kids are going to be much safer if they are easy to see. You can send them with a flashlight but that is likely to get thrown in the candy bag after a couple of stops. Glow sticks, finger flashlights, or even something reflective on a costume are good choices for making sure your kids can be seen. I tell mine to stay under the street lights, too.
Have A Way to Reach An Adult
In case of a true emergency while your child is away from home, have a way for them to reach help. My kids do not have phones, but on trick-or-treat night I’ll send them with mine and keep my husband’s at home so that if needed, they have a way to reach us. And of course it will come back with 10,000 pictures of them with their friends.
What other Halloween safety tips would you add to my list?