It’s that time of year again, when the weather is crisp; the leaves are changing; and ghouls, goblins, and witches roam the streets—at least on October 31 they do! Although alternatives to nighttime trick or treating have grown in popularity in recent years, the age-old event remains a mainstay for this spooky holiday.
This Halloween, keep the following in mind for a safe and successful outing.
Out & About
You’re costumed up, collection vessel in hand, and ready to head out for an evening among neighbors. Here are some tips to ensure the experience is a pleasant one for all, no matter one’s age:
It’s wise to accompany younger children throughout the trick or treating festivities. Before you head out on the roads in Pradera or elsewhere, consider establishing the following ground rules:
- No running ahead
- No crossing the street
- No going into people’s homes
- Have your manners
- Wait your turn
Review the rules:
For older children, going sans parents can be a rite of passage. Check out these ideas and communicate to your tween/teen any that are applicable to your family:
- Set boundaries: Determine where the kids can (and can’t!) go and establish the acceptable perimeter so they can roam freely (within the boundaries, of course!).
- Establish a curfew: Trick or treating ended about nine but it’s eleven thirty and your teen still isn’t home. Don’t put yourself in this position. To avoid worry and miscommunication, be clear about when you expect your child home.
- Offer a friendly reminder: They’ve heard it countless times, but it never hurts to give a gentle reminder about (1) proper etiquette and (2) stranger danger. Be polite and never enter a stranger’s home or car. Easy enough!
- Safety in numbers: Advise your kiddos to stay with others at all times; no wandering off or separating under any circumstances. This is a perfect occasion for the buddy system!
Preparation can make the difference between a fun night and a not-so-fun night. Pack the following items to ensure you’re ready for it all:
- Flashlight with fresh batteries: Prevent slips, falls, and trips on unfamiliar pathways with the use of a bright flashlight. This tool is also essential for letting drivers know you’re on the road.
- Adequate clothing for layering in the elements: It can get chilly in Colorado when the sun goes down. Pack a hat, gloves, and jacket just in case it’s colder than expected.
- Water: Never leave home without it!
- Whistle: When used (but not abused), a whistle is a handy item to have on hand in case of an emergency.
- Reflectors: Any time you’re out in the dark, wearing reflective gear is a wise idea. Drivers appreciate it!
The After Party
You’ve scoured the neighborhood in search of the elusive full-size candy bars and it’s time to head home to marvel at the lode. But first:
- Inspect the goods: Before the kids dig in on their loot, inspect each item. Be on the lookout for unsealed or questionable items, weed out any age-inappropriate items (for example, gum for your toddler), and clear the pile of any allergy-triggering items.
- Have a plan: A pillowcase loaded with ten pounds of confections is every kid’s dream—and every parent’s and dentist’s nightmare. Decide in advance how the candy distribution will work after trick or treating (one piece a day? child can keep only 25 pieces?) and share the plan with your kiddo so the expectation is set.
If you’re one of the many staying home, doling out the goodies, here are some safety tips for you as well.
- Turn on the lights: Flipping on the porch lights not only communicates to others that your home is “open for business” but also provides an illuminated path for their visit.
- Clear the way: Ensure the path by which kiddos will approach your house is clear and easy to navigate—this prevents not only trampling of garden beds but also spills and falls by those unfamiliar with your walkway.
- Prep your pets: Have a plan for Felix and Fido—if you’ve got a furry four-legged friend who goes bonkers when the doorbell rings or who wants nothing more than to escape into the great outdoors, be sure to make arrangements accordingly.
Happy Halloween! Be safe, and have a blast out there!
Pradera is a family-friendly master-planned community in coveted Douglas County, Colorado. Here, year-round golfing greens and an impressive list of community amenities deliver luxury at every turn. Visit us today to find the spacious custom home perfect for your Colorado lifestyle.