As Halloween quickly approaches, it is helpful to reflect on the purpose of the holiday — for children, teens and adults to have F-U-N. Halloween is filled with exciting costumes, spooky decorations, and most importantly, sugar. However, the most concerning component of Halloween for parents is often safety.
As children flood the streets in search of delicious candy while sharing laughter with friends and family, it is important to remember that there are some potentially dangerous components of trick-or-treating. These possible dangers should not prevent everyone from having fun, but it is helpful if everyone in the family is informed and educated. Here are a few tips to consider when prepping for Halloween festivities:
Before your kids leave the house …
- Ensure that their costumes are safe. Add some sort of reflective gear to their costume. Check that their vision is minimally obscured. Ensure fake weapons of any kind appear markedly inauthentic.
- Review road safety. Do not assume cars can see you – look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t be distracted by technology when in the street. Make sure your children always walk with a trusted adult or a designated buddy. It may be helpful to carry some sort of light or flashlight to ensure that you can be seen.
- Talk to your children about entering homes or cars of adults that they do not know. Make sure the group has some way of contacting an adult or the police if an issue were to arise.
- Educate your children about the dangers of eating unwrapped food.
- Set a realistic curfew and decide on check-in times throughout the evening. Establish clear parameters of how far your children can venture from home.
It IS possible to stay safe while maximizing fun during Halloween. We hope that everyone has a fun, spook-tacular time celebrating! Happy Halloween from The Family Institute!
Adam Margol, PsyD, is a Staff Therapist at The Family Institute. He has experience working with children, adolescents and young adults with emotion regulation issues, social skills deficits, school issues, behavioral issues, learning disabilities/challenges, executive functioning deficits, ADHD, depression, anxiety, aggression, and developmental disabilities.
The Family Institute offers affordable, effective mental health counseling for families, couples and individuals in Evanston, Chicago, Northbrook and Westchester. Learn more about our services on our website.