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Have a Safe and Fun Halloween

Have a Safe and Fun Halloween

Prepare, don't scare, your kids

If you were raised on warnings and scare tactics, you may believe that it's important to "scare some sense" into your kids, especially when it comes to keeping them safe on Halloween. But the opposite is actually true: fear disables kids. It prevents them from thinking on their feet, from judging a situation accurately and from acting self-protectively.

You empower children by teaching them exactly what to do, not by warning them about what could happen if they disobey you or use poor judgment. So, when it comes to trick-or-treating:

  • Explain that Halloween is a special night when it's okay to accept candy from people they don't know, without getting into grim stories about why it isn't safe at other times.
  • Teach them to stay in well-lit areas and to only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on. Remind them to stay on porches as opposed to entering people's homes.
  • If they're out with other kids, attach their names and addresses inside their costumes and make sure they know their phone number, just in case they ever need to make an emergency call.
  • Tell your children to bring their treats home before eating them so you can help them make sure they're safe. (Throw out any treats that are not wrapped, those in torn or open packages, or any that have small holes in the wrappers. And remember that small, hard candies are a choking hazard for children under three.)