The holiday season is officially here; you can feel it in the air, you can see it in the trees as they change color and you can tell by the way your kids are anxiously awaiting the chance to go trick or treating. In and of themselves, holidays present various challenges and Halloween is no exception. From non-fire-resistant costumes, to running out in street to visit the next best scariest house, to inspecting candy that your child receives from a neighbor, many factors come into play in keeping your family, children and their friends safe on this Halloween occasion.
The first thing on many children’s minds is a costume. Finding the perfect costume for your child’s personality can make or break your kid’s fun factor on this frightful night! And, what about the darkness? How will children get around to see where they are going, since they don’t necessarily want to walk right beside you? Let’s not forget the traffic that continues through the neighborhood as your children cross the street. And lastly, what about the candy they receive throughout their nighttime journey from home to home? Here’s what you can do and what you can expect this Halloween to keep your children safe and having fun throughout the evening.
When choosing a costume:
- Homemade is always best, not necessarily for budgetary reasons, but also for the material used in costume making. Though manufacturers label their costumes “fire resistant,” that doesn’t mean that a flame can’t catch and burn the garment while your child is wearing it. Any prolonged exposure to fire is dangerous. This year, vow to be creative and use clothing and materials from around your home to craft a costume like no other for your child.
- Avoid plastic masks. These useless accessories often prohibit kids from seeing properly, not to mention the fact that they are hot and often plain annoying.
- Make sure the costume length is appropriate for your child’s height. You don’t want you child tripping over a costume that is too long, or has dangling threads, ropes or strings. Making your child’s costume means you have more control to make sure that the costume is a good fit and not too long that the child or others could trip over extra hanging material.
When trick or treating:
- Install a flashlight app on your cell phone. This little genius app provides a mighty light without being intrusive to others; just enough for you to see where your little one is going.
- Costumed children will surround you, and keeping an eye on your own may be challenging. Add a fluorescence strip or tag to the back of your child’s costume so you can easily spot him in a crowd if he runs ahead of you to the next house. (Pssst… it won’t even spoil the look of the costume when it’s visible to you from the back.)
- Hold the hands of little ones, preferably from ages 3 and under; they get scared, they run away, and they want to be held. Making them a part of the experiences will mean less frustration for all.
- Watch for authentic, fully-lit jack lanterns that have a candles inside them, as well as luminaries that may line the walkways of some homes. Real candles add to the spooky effect, but always pose a threat, especially to little ones who are close to the ground near a burning flame.
After the festivities:
- Check the candy. This routine task may seem passé from earlier days, but never assume that the candy or treats are safe. Sticking with neighbors and homes you know is your best bet, but often there are a few unknowns neighbors thrown in the mix. Check for blades, holes and open candy.
- Blow out all candles to close out your evening. It’s easy to forget to extinguish candles when there is so much activity going on.
Halloween brings joy to many children and this year’s festivities should be no exception. While we hope your Halloween is incident free, we know it’s important that you feel confident when seeking counsel if your child has bee injured by someone’s negligence while trick or treating. Be sure to enlist the advice of an attorney in New York who can help you with your injury case.