As we get to the end of October, it’s time for pumpkin patches, all things spooky and dressing up to go trick-or-treating. Whether in a car or on foot, we want to help you stay safe this Halloween. Here are some tips (and tech) to help you have a safe and fun holiday.
- Test make up ahead of time to make sure your child isn’t allergic and it doesn’t hurt their eyes.
- Masks can limit eyesight, so opt for makeup or hats.
- Make sure your children know the route you are taking and how everyone is getting home.
- Stick to well-lit neighborhoods that your children are familiar with, and bring a flashlight for dark areas, or download the Flashlight app to use on your phone.
- Stick to houses with their porch lights on.
- Don’t go into a home for a treat – it might be more of a trick.
- Set a place where you’ll meet up if any trick-or-treaters get separated from your party.
- Walk on sidewalks or as close to the curb as possible, and cross the street at crosswalks.
- Wear reflective or light-up clothing for better visibility.
- Inspect candy before eating it and don’t eat anything that has been tampered with or is homemade.
- Make sure your child knows how to call 9-1-1, and knows your name and address in case of an emergency.
Additionally, technology can also provide peace of mind for parents this Halloween. Signing up for neighborhood apps like Nextdoor will help you map out your route. The app’s Treat Map tells you which neighbors are doling out treats. Other helpful apps include:
- Real-time location tracking apps like Find My Friends work for families with iPhones (this app is not available on Android).
- Virginia State Police provide a sex offender database that you can review before planning your route.
- The RedPanic Button app sends a text message containing your exact location on Google Maps when activated.
Don’t forget to also prepare your own home and yard for trick-or-treaters by removing any tripping hazards such as garden hoses, toys, or bicycles; checking outdoor lights and replacing burned out bulbs and sweeping the sidewalks and steps to rid them of debris that may cause a fall. If you have pets, consider keeping them inside so they don’t jump on or bite anyone.
A few precautionary measures will help make this Halloween a fun and safe time.