Costumes, Candy, and Kids – Oh My! 15 Tips to Make This Halloween the Happiest (And Safest) One Yet!
Updated by Ashley C. on October 14, 2021
Halloween week is fast approaching, and your kids are THRILLED!! 🎃👻🦇🍬
They’ve been planning their costumes and counting down to the big day for WEEKS now. And it’s all you can do to keep them from sleeping in their superhero and princess attire!
They’re dreaming of sugar and late-night fun. Spooky jack-o-lanterns and haunted houses. But as a parent, you’re thinking of safety.
I know – it’s SUPER FUN! Isn’t being a grown-up the best?!? 🤣
And while Halloween is a favorite family holiday, it can also be a day prone to injuries and mishaps!
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to be your family’s superhero. With these tips, this Halloween is sure to be the happiest – and safest – one yet!
15 Tips for a fun and safe Halloween night
🎃 Costume checks
Costume checks are the first line of defense against trips and falls. Before you head out the door, check that everyone’s costume fits well and is short enough to avoid tripping while walking.
Think about layers
You also want to check that they don’t have too many flowing layers billowing out behind them. This is especially important when visiting front doors with lots of stairs or pumpkins illuminated by real candles.
And don’t forget the costume’s accessories. Make sure your toddler’s or preschooler’s fun add-ons, like swords, wands, and wizard staffs, are soft and flexible. Tripping and falling on something pointy while walking around the neighborhood can quickly put an end to the Halloween fun.
Ditch the masks
One last costume consideration — skip the masks in favor of face paint or makeup. Masks can limit your child’s vision — and that’s certainly not safe.
Instead, look for non-toxic, kid-safe makeup products. And be sure to test them on your child’s skin before Halloween night. When the night is over, give those chocolate-covered faces a good wash. Even the best quality make-up can irritate a child’s skin if left on overnight.
🎃 Nighttime precautions
This is the night to get out and play in the spooky dark. But you aren’t looking for any real scares this Halloween. Keep everyone visible and together with some nighttime safety gear.
Add extra fun with glow sticks
Add reflective tape to costumes (including your own). Better yet, break out those glow-in-the-dark necklaces to keep your family visible while trick or treating. Glow sticks are always a big hit at our house. Grab a big pack to keep the fun going well into the holidays. Bathtime glow stick parties are the best!
Carry a flashlight
When heading out trick or treating, be sure the grown-ups in the group are carrying flashlights. You never know when you may run across dark patches of sidewalk. But whenever possible, stick to well-lit streets and houses. The more visible you and your surroundings are, the better.
Nothing can end a night of Halloween fun quicker than a cranky toddler. With a little planning, you can have a (mostly) tantrum-free night.
Get in a nap
If your child is preschool age or younger, be sure to find time for an afternoon nap to prevent an early evening meltdown. Fighting to put your over-tired toddler in their new dinosaur costume is not a good way to start the night.
And don’t forget to eat! Plan for an early supper if you want to start your trick or treating earlier in the evening. If you are trekking beyond your neighborhood or have plans with friends, pack a few healthy snacks. A hangry toddler is just as bad as a tired one. Plus these snacks will be great for breaking up the oncoming Halloween sugar rush.
🎃 Car and road safety
Did you know that kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night of the year? It’s a sobering thought, but it doesn’t have to put a damper on your Halloween plans.
Crossing the street
Always cross the street at the appropriate places and look both ways before crossing. Distracted drivers are a concern every day, so never assume an oncoming car will see you and stop. Be patient and keep a hold on those little hands while waiting to cross the street.
Put away your phone
When out and about, stay off of your phone. It’s too easy for a distracted pedestrian to take a wrong step. If you want to snap a few pictures, make sure another adult is leading the way and keeping a close eye on your tiny ghouls and goblins.
Stick to the sidewalks
If your neighborhood has sidewalks, great! Be sure to use them whenever they’re available. Or if you are leaving your home to head to that perfect trick or treating spot, always look for one with great sidewalks and street lights.
No sidewalks available? Be sure to walk facing the direction of traffic. And whether or not you’re using sidewalks, stay together and watch for cars backing out of driveways.
It can be difficult to keep preschoolers and elementary kiddos from running ahead. Discuss the dangers with them in a kid-appropriate way before heading out. Keeping everyone safe is always the first priority.
🎃 Trick or treating tips
When making your neighborhood rounds, here’s a few things to keep in mind.
Safety in numbers
What’s the safest way to ring those doorbells and collect candy? Remember — there’s safety in numbers. Always go up to doors in groups to collect your treats. If the kids are a little older, let them go up together while you hang back. But for preschoolers and toddlers, it’s often best for you to stay close and walk with them to the door.
If a house doesn’t have its outdoor lights on, skip it and head to the next home instead. Remind your children to follow the light to keep them from ringing an unexpected neighbor’s bell.
Does that home on the corner look exceptionally spooky? You know the one — scarecrows wearing hockey masks, “bloody” window stains, and animatronic skeletons. If you have a sensitive child, it’s best to skip the homes that go all out on Halloween. You never know who (or what) may pop out — and while that can be spooky fun for some, it may also be nightmare-inducing for younger kiddos. So skip the tricks and focus on the treats.
🎃 Candy checks
This is pretty old-school advice, but it still stands today. It’s best to inspect all of your child’s candy before they dig in. Look for unwrapped candy, check for allergens, and think about choking hazards. If it looks suspect, throw it out.
Keeping some of your own extra candy on hand can help with the candy swap. Or switch out some of those treats with fun stickers or activities to keep your child happy without the sugar crash.
We hope you have the best Halloween yet!
Halloween is so much fun with kids! Getting dressed up and playing pretend, all while getting candy. What could be better? And with our tips for a safer Halloween you can relax and enjoy the day without all the anxiety.
If you’re looking for some fun and easy activities to fill the days before Halloween, download this week’s FREE Halloween printables! These activity and coloring pages will keep your kids busy and entertained as they wait for their exciting trick-or-treat adventures!
We hope you have a fun, spooky, and safe Halloween night with your family!