As your school-age son or daughter get to that time of wanting to go trick or treating on their own or with friends on Halloween, many parents worry about their safety. The best way to safeguard your child and still let them enjoy the Halloween fun of trick or treating is to educate them. Halloween affects children in many ways, some are anxious and look for the independence of going out with friends, and others see Halloween as a scary time of year. We have some tips to help the new parent understand what your child maybe going through and what you can do to help ensure their safety while they have fun on Halloween.
Start by Educating Your Child About Halloween
If they have not gotten the information from school, take the time and talk to your child about Halloween and the traditions surrounding it. Talk about why everyone dresses up for Halloween and then visit a Halloween costume store. Let your child see the various types of makeup, fake blood, scary masks, and monster costumes. This will help to reassure them that what they see on Halloween night is not real and that it is all just done for fun.
There is Safety in Numbers When Halloween Trick or Treating
Your school-aged child may think they have arrived at an age to go trick or treating without mom or dad. However, in this day and age, that is just not a safe option. Compromise with your child and let them go with another parent who is monitoring a group of kids themselves for Halloween trick or treating. Make a deal with that parent that you will take over those duties the following Halloween. Your child will feel some independence without mom or dad around and you as a parent will know that your child is safe with another parent watching.
Check the Halloween Candy Before Anyone Eats
Most kids when they get home get that glazed look on their face as if they have hit the jackpot and are ready to dive in and enjoy their trick or treat candy. However, as a parent you need to set a couple of ground rules. First, no eating candy until they are done trick or treating, so that you can monitor what they received. Second, all opened packages of candy must be thrown out for safety reasons. Third, to avoid the sugar rush of grouchy, irritable behavior make sure your child only eats a small portion at a time of their Halloween trick or treat candies.
Take Time After Halloween Trick or Treating to Talk
After the Halloween trick or treating excitement is over is a great time to talk with your child about their experiences during the evening. Find out what they liked and disliked while trick or treating. Most school-aged children are more sensitive to the possible scary images that Halloween offers. Haunted houses, scary costumes, graphic images can conjure up nightmares for children. If anything bothered your child, this is a great time to address it with them before it can get out of hand.