Every year on Halloween children’s fantasies come to life and adults welcome their young neighbors for tricks and treats. In this article Doug offers his advice on how to be sure your holiday is safe, both at home and while you’re out with your little ones.
Halloween is a wonderful holiday where kids and adults alike can become whomever or whatever they want for a night. Unfortunately, however, the traditions of Halloween expose us to certain risks that we may not face on a regular basis. From the door-to-door candy gathering to crossing dark streets at night, with a little planning you can be sure your Halloween is both safe and memorable for you and your loved ones.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY FOR KIDS
- Kids should trick-or-treat preferably in a group and always with an adult. If your children are mature enough to be unsupervised, they should still absolutely be with a group of trusted friends.
- Coach your children on crossing streets and make sure they have flashlights with fresh batteries, chemlights where they can be seen, or both, as well as costumes that are bright enough for a driver to see.
- If possible, opt for face paint instead of masks to be sure your little one’s vision isn’t obstructed.
- Never go into someone’s house even if they invite you in.
- Only go to houses with the front porch lights on.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY & SECURITY FOR ADULTS
- Go with your children while they’re trick-or-treating. You can stand back, allowing them to have fun with their friends, but you should be with your kids while they’re out.
- As unfortunate as this is, visit your local sex offender website to check your kids’ route to see if there are any areas they need to avoid.
- Carry your EDC. You wouldn’t usually leave home without it, so don’t.
- I also carry a pocket full of chemlights to offer the parents of kids we see who have costumes that aren’t very visible.
- Put fresh batteries in your flashlight and use it to illuminate the walking paths, stairs, and the group when there are cars driving by.
- Feed your kids a good meal before they go so they’re less tempted to eat candy before you have an opportunity to check it.
- Revisit the conversation with your kids about strangers and give them age-appropriate advice about what to do should they encounter a stranger.
- Remove any hazards from your walkway and be sure the path to your house is well lit.
- Secure your pets and be sure they’re wearing ID.
- Around 9pm, turn out your porch light and stop answering the door. There is plenty of time before 9pm to enjoy the kids’ costumes and hand out candy. Late night Halloween visitors have occasionally become home invasion robberies. Don’t let your guard down because of the holiday and consider carrying concealed in your home while you’re opening the door to strangers.
- If driving, slow way down and be extra watchful for little ones. Remember that they may run out in front of you with no warning wearing a costume that makes them hard to see.
This list of tips is intended as a guide and is certainly not exhaustive so consider your own individual situation and make your plan accordingly. If you have additional safety and security tips to offer, please share them in the comments below.
From all of us at Guns & Tactics Magazine, we wish you and your family a safe, secure, and fun Halloween!