On a night filled with ghosts, goblins and spooky stories, Halloween is undoubtedly one of the most spine-chilling nights of the year, especially for parents. Filled with nostalgic memories of their own trick-or-treating adventures, parents look forward to creating new memories with their children on Halloween night. But the Halloween hysteria of tampered-with treats, strangers and kids gone missing can often overshadow the spirit of the holiday and leave parents with nothing more than Halloween heebie-jeebies.
So how do you keep your children safe and still have fun?
Don’t scare your children silly. Instead, calmly review familiar rules that
you follow all year-around. Don’t talk to strangers, look both ways before crossing the street and always use the buddy system. Everyday rules still apply.
Watch for cars. The commonly used “hold hands while you cross the street” is not always enough to prevent a tragic accident. By creatively outfitting your child’s costume with an item that glows in the dark, you can help prevent an inattentive driver from not seeing your child in the dark.
Your teenager is invited to his/ her first Halloween party. As they excitedly pile into a car with friends, you nervously wave goodbye at the door. Remind your teen that the driving distractions should be kept to a minimum. Loud music and screaming back seat drivers only add to the hectic atmosphere of Halloween night.
Keep a cellphone handy. If you are not able to accompany your child to the Halloween festivities, have your little Cinderella or Batman carry a cellphone with them. This also gives slightly older children more freedom and flexibility on Halloween night.
Watch for vandals. The pumpkin you worked so hard to carve might end up smashed to pieces and the new car in your driveway may not escape a few eggs. The most important way to prevent being a victim of vandalism is to be present.
Candy fears. Remind your kids that if they see packaging that looks unfamiliar — or looks as if it has already been opened — it is best if they throw it away or show it to an adult.
Plan a meeting spot. Before embarking on your trick-or-treat route, make sure you plan a meeting spot in case you get separated. Plan a course through the neighborhood that is well-lit and well-populated.
Teach fire safety. Many parents often search for costumes that are guar anteed to be “fire resistant.” But never fear if your search for the perfect fire re tardant costume leaves you empty-handed. Teaching children that luminaries are off limits and lit jack-o-lanterns are only for looking — not touching — can prevent almost all fire-related accidents on Halloween.
Have fun! Halloween is the one day out of the year when kids can be whoever they want and eat enormous amounts of teeth-rotting candy.
By following these tips, Halloween can revert back to one night a year of uncomplicated fun.
By: South Carolina Attorney Robyn Madden