It is almost that time of year again. Most of us enjoy Halloween, but worry about our children. This can be a major concern for us all. There are ways to protect the children, and here are a few steps I use.
Plan a route you will use. Even if your children are older and want to go on there own, set the route and tell them to stick to it. Be sure this route is in a known neighborhood, and you are familiar with a few people. You will always worry, but if you are more comfortable with the neighborhood, you will not worry quite as much.
Go in a group. Find a few children in the neighborhood that will be trick-or-treating. Ask there parents if they would like to put a group together, so everyone can watch out for each other. Try not to have to many children and not enough adults. There should be one adult to every three or four children. Also give some of the older kids responsibility of a younger one. This will make the older one feel more mature, but still keep an eye on both of them.
Take lights, or something reflective. You want your children to be seen, but most neighborhoods are dim. There are so many different options for this without messing up the costumes. I use the glow necklaces and bracelets. Let the children pick out there color, it makes them feel like they are making the choice to wear them, not being forced. You can also get glow in the dark bags, or Halloween flash lights. They make it fun, and safe.
Talk to your children. Most of us already do, but during Halloween they tend to forget. They are having so much fun. Talk to the immediately before you start trick-or-treating, this way it is fresh in there heads. Tell them not to go in anyones house, do not get in a car with anyone they do not know, and stay close to the group. Also let them know not to eat any candy while trick-or-treating unless you see it first.
When you get home be sure to tell them not to eat any candy. Have everyone sit on the floor in one room and pour there candy in front of them. Make a game out of checking the candy. Come up with a way to make them feel they are not being forced to wait. After every few pieces checked let them have one. Be sure to explain to them why they are checking the candy. No one wants to tell there children that there are bad people in the world, but at times we have to for there protection.
Halloween is one time of year that everything we teach our children about strangers is acceptable to a point. They can talk to, take candy from, and shake hand of strangers. We just have to let them know what is acceptable and discuss how far they can go. You can have a safe and fun Halloween with your children, you just have to set guidelines, and stick to them.