A. Safety is often on the minds of parents especially as Halloween is approaching. You might already be getting the question from your child – can I trick or treat with my friends this year?
Your child might be 5 , 9, or maybe 12. To figure out if they are ready ask yourself this question: What have I taught my child about their personal to prepare them for this awesome new adventure? Of course each family has to make these decisions based on knowing your own child, the other kids they would be walking around with, the community (traffic? isolated? etc.), and if you have any known predators in the area. (You can check this on your state’s sexual offender website.)
Obviously for younger children we always recommend adult supervision.
This is not just because of concerns about ‘predators in our midst’, it is more about keeping kids safe from the distracted drivers or them wandering off in the chaos of the many costumed groups of people.
If you have taught your child about their personal safety, and they understand that their are homes they can not approach and that they should never, under any circumstances, enter someone’s home to get candy or anything else, then they might be ready for this new independence. If not, sit down with them and have a talk about what the boundaries and rules would be for this trick or treat adventure.
TIP LIST FOR KIDS VENTURING OUT ON THEIR OWN
1. Flashlights (Use a real one! Much more fun than using a phone.)
2. Only use phone if necessary. A designated check in time for an update keeps them grounded.
3. Only go to home’s that are being visited by others and have lights on.
4. Stay on streets that have other trick or treaters.
5. Tell your child NOT to eat any candy until you have looked it over. Okay – so that isn’t going to happen. But do explain that any candy, even if it is a favorite, if it is open in any way it has to be thrown out. Then also remind them which candy is your favorite so they can save that for you.
6. Do not approach dogs you do not know. Always ask the owner for permission before approaching even dogs you do know.
7. Do not talk to anyone driving by in a car. Review this with them: If an adult needs help they should be asking another adult – not kids. They have permission if approached by someone in a car to yell No! and run in the opposite direction the car is facing and contact their trusted adults immediately.
Halloween was a blast for me growing up as well as with my own kids. For most families it is the ultimate fun holiday. As a KidSafe parent we ask that you take a few minutes to consider if your child is ready to go out on their own. If yes, cover the topics above and have a great night!