More than 157 million Americans will celebrate Halloween this year, with total spending on the holiday—decorations, candy and costumes–topping $6.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.
However you spend October 31—at a harvest festival, church trunk or treat, local shopping mall or knocking on neighbor doors—here are six tips on staying safe this Halloween.
Remember all kids can get scared. So many times, we forget that our older children still can be frightened by realistic costumes, dark shadows and things that go bump in the night. Walk with them around the neighborhood to talk about the decorations. Don’t tease them if they jump or cry at a particularly scary house or encounter.
Check costumes. This seems like a no-brainer, but take the time before Saturday to check your child’s costume. Does it fit right? Can she see out of the mask? Such an easy thing to do but it can eliminate skinned knees and lost candy.
Shine in the darkness. Check flashlight batteries or your glow stick supply before heading out the door. Even in neighborhoods, streetlights don’t reach onto every sidewalk equally, so having portable light is essential to making it home without incident.
Practice manners. It’s essential that our children not be rude when asking for candy. No matter where you go, make sure your children are drilled in how to approach the candy-giver: with a smile, a polite “Trick or treat,” and an audible “Thank you.” Some will ask what the child is dressed as, so be sure to go over that as well.
Decide on your candy policy. Will you let the kids gorge themselves that evening? Have only a few pieces? We generally let the kids eat as much as they want on Halloween evening, but then we restrict it to one piece of candy a day thereafter. One family designates Saturdays as all-you-can-eat candy days, with no candy during the week. Letting your kids know the policy before they actually have candy will make it easier for you to enforce it come Halloween.
Have fun too. So many times, we forget to enjoy the holiday with our children. Relax, smile, greet your neighbors and eat some candy.
How will you celebrate October 31?
Until next time,