Halloween is just around the corner. Right now, you likely have excited kids that can’t wait to get dressed up and go trick or treating. As they get older, they look forward to parties with their friends. Halloween safety for kids and teens will be at the top of your list of priorities. You want to keep them protected, while allowing them to have fun.
Here are five family safety tips to make sure Halloween is a fun but safe one at the same time.
Set Ground Rules Before They Leave
With younger kids, you will likely go out with them. However, as kids get older they don’t want to be seen with their parents. That doesn’t mean safety concerns disappear. No matter how old your children are, it’s important to set some ground rules before they leave the house—with or without you.
When you’re with them, you can make it clear that they stay in sight at all times. Most kids will go with their friends, so have their parents with you and make the rule that they stay as a group. When you’re not with them, set the rule of them only going to certain houses or a certain distance. If you have a dangerous road around, make it a rule that they don’t cross it without adult supervision (depending on their ages).
For teenagers, set strict rules for curfews. Make it clear that you expect rules to be followed, as it will give you a chance to trust them in the future.
Set Up GPS Trackers on Phones
This is especially beneficially when children are moving from that stage of trick or treating with parents and going out alone. You can set up apps on smartphones that will act as a GPS tracker. You can see where your children are without actually going out with them. It’s a great way to make sure they stick to the rules, and will also help if something happens while they’re out.
There’s an element of trust here. It would be worth sitting with your kids and explaining that you have set this system up. While you promise you won’t spy on them, you need to make it clear that this system is there for family safety.
Driving Safety for Teens
When your children get older, they want to make their own way to their friends’ houses. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you need to make sure your children are aware of driving safety, especially at Halloween. There will be small children out and not all parents will have set up ground rules. Make sure your teens are aware of the possibility of children running out in the street at the last minute.
It’s also important to talk about drinking and driving. While teens will know it is illegal, there are some who try it. Set up your rules and make the punishments clear before they leave.
Teach Children Walking Safety
Because of all the excitement, traditional walking rules are often forgotten about. Make sure your children are aware that they need to keep an eye out for cars before crossing any road. With electric and hybrid cars, it is getting harder to hear them first.
Making eye contact with drivers is a great consideration for Halloween safety for kids. It allows kids to know whether the driver has seen them or not, and whether it is safe to cross. Encourage no cell phone use while walking. These are just distractions, and aren’t really necessary. If friends want to get photos together, find a safe spot and take photos there.
Have Something Reflective
Many kids want creepy, dark costumes. The problem is that they blend into the dark and others won’t see them. It’s important to have something reflective. This doesn’t mean a bright top to take the focus off the costume! Opt for a piece of reflective tape on the back of a cape or on shoes to make it easier for drivers to see them.
If there are parents around, make sure they are wearing brighter colors. It allows children to see them easily, and makes the size of groups visible.
Take care this Halloween with these family safety tips. There are horror stories every year, and you don’t want to be one of them.