Many kids in the Capital Region are eagerly awaiting Wednesday night to dress up as their favorite characters, show off their costumes, go trick-or-treating with their family and friends and collect as much candy as they can handle. While the kids look forward to a night of fun and games, parents and grandparents can often stress about their safety. There are some basic safety precautions every family can take to ensure a fun and safe night for the entire family.
Keep costume safety in mind: Make sure their costumes have some sort of reflective material to make it easier for drivers to see them when passing, especially if they are trick or treating after the sun goes down. Consider giving your kids flashlights or glow sticks to hold making them even more visible. Parents should also double check to see whether their child’s costume is flame resistant. If you’re making your child’s costume you can use flame-resistant fabrics like nylon or polyester to help minimize the risk of contact with candles. You’ll also need to make sure the costume is a good fit. Have them try it on before they go trick or treating and make sure the costume is not dragging on the floor, avoid loose or baggy fitting costumes to prevent falls. You can also opt for face paint instead of a mask which can obstruct a child’s vision. Look for nontoxic face paint.
Tracking Kids: Have a route in mind around the neighborhood before you go trick or treating. If your kids are older consider using an app on your phone to track where they are via GPS. If you’re an iPhone user you can use the Find My Friends App on your phone to easily see where your kids are in the neighborhood. Safety website Safewise.com also recommends talking to your children before they go trick or treating about staying on sidewalks and not to run from house to house.
Approve Candy: The best part of trick or treating for children is having a huge stash of candy by the end of the night. Although you should warn your kids against eating to goods while they’re still out. Talk to them about bringing everything home so that you’re able to look through the candy and check for any unwrapped pieces. Be aware of any food allergies a child may have and check to see if the candy has any ingredients that may cause issues with that allergy.
Crime Stats for your Neighborhood: If your older children are trick or treating without you consider checking a crime mapping app such as CrimeReports.
If you live in Albany you can also check APD’s Open Data Portal for the latest crime data.
Find out about what crimes are taking place in your community, whether registered sex offenders live nearby. You can use this information to plan out your trick or treating route and discuss areas that are off-limits for your kids. Safewise also recommends making sure your child’s phone is charged and establish how often they should check in with you.
Keep these tips and precautions in mind and don’t forget to have lots of fun and snap some fun pictures. If you’d like to share them with us you can post them to our WTEN Facebook Page.