Kim Allen, M.A., M.F.T., former Associate State Specialist, former Director of Center on Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy and Parenting (CASPP), Human Development & Family Studies, University of Missouri Extension.
Halloween is supposed to be fun and scary for children, but it is the role of adults to make sure kids are kept safe from truly scary situations. How many times are children told to avoid taking candy from a stranger or to avoid going into a stranger’s home or car? However, all of these rules are broken on Halloween night. This is a great opportunity for families to talk openly about appropriate and safe behavior. As is true in everyday safety procedures, there are steps parents can take to keep their kids safe on Halloween.
- Stay with young children at all times.
- Keep older kids in groups with at least one adult.
- For adolescents without supervision, plan a route and discuss limitations.
- Trick-or-treat during daylight hours or stay in well-lit, populated areas after dark.
- Trick-or-treat in neighborhoods that are familiar.
- Instruct children to never go into the home or car of a stranger.
- Go to the bathroom before leaving home.
- Check the sexual predator registry (see websites below) for homes to avoid.
The good news is that most children will not be victims of violence on Halloween. With common sense rules and good communication, you can ensure that this is a fun and safe holiday, as well as an opportunity to get out and connect with neighbors.