Article at a Glance

  • Guidelines for children and parents to follow to stay safe and enjoy Halloween.
  • Many parents don’t talk to their kids about safety every Halloween.
  • Use a Trick-or-Treating Safety Contract as a memorable and effective way to remind children how to be safe.

Whether your kids are old enough to go trick-or-treating alone or if you will be tagging along, it is important to talk to your children about safety beforehand. Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrians, and children need to understand how to stay safe.

Surprisingly many parents don’t talk to their kids about safety every Halloween. Reminding your kids every few years isn’t enough for it to really sink in. Consider adopting a new Halloween tradition this year—the Trick-or-Treating Contract!

Contracts are a positive and memorable way to help your children understand what is expected of them. Once it is all in writing and your children have signed it, it is hard for them to say that they did not understand something or that you had forgotten to talk about it. Plus it lets your children know that you are serious about safety and helps you make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

This is a sample contract. Add anything that is applicable to your area or family. You might even want to ask your kids for suggestions.


Tricking-or-Treating Contract
In order to go trick-or-treating this year, I, _____________ , promise to:

  1. Never go trick-or-treating alone. I will always stay with the group or a responsible adult.
  2. Wait to eat my candy until an adult has been able to make sure it has not been tampered with.
  3. Not eat too much candy. I will eat no more than ____ pieces tonight.
  4. Use a flashlight and avoid dark streets. Not only will this help me see, but help me be seen by drivers.
  5. Stay on sidewalks and not walk in the street.
  6. Not run out from between parked cars.
  7. Not run across lawns. There may be obstacles that are not easily visible at night.
  8. Walk carefully from house to house.
  9. Look both ways before crossing the street and to only cross at corners or crosswalks.
  10. Only visit well-lit homes.
  11. Not eat or take homemade goodies.
  12. Not accept rides from strangers.
  13. Not go inside any of the houses.
  14. Stick to my own neighborhood where I know or am familiar with the people.
  15. Make sure my parents know where I am at all times.
  16. Contact my parents immediately if I see anything that scares or worries me.
  17. Be home by _________.
  18. Have a wonderful time!

__________________________________________________________
Signature


Halloween Safety Tips For Parents

Here are a few more safety tips that you will want to remember:

  • Children under the age of 12 should always have an adult with them while trick-or-treating.
  • Do not give children homemade treats.
  • Don’t give toddlers or babies small, hard candies—they are choking hazards.
  • Try to find some healthier alternatives to candy for trick-or-treaters. Things like stickers or Halloween-themed snacks are a good option.
  • Keep your house well-lit and the pathway up to your door free of obstacles.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and never leave them unattended. Consider finding alternatives like battery-operated candles.
  • When driving on Halloween be extra careful and watch for trick-or-treaters.
  • On Halloween, children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car.
  • When selecting a costume for your child look for something that is flame resistant and easy to walk in. Try to use face paint instead of a mask. If you have to use a mask make sure the mask doesn’t hamper your child’s vision or restrict their breathing. Any costume accessories like knives and swords should be flexible and soft.
  • While trick-or-treating, use reflective tape on children’s costumes to make sure they are visible to drivers.


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