Halloween is just around the corner and here at Lauren’s Kids, we want to ensure your little ghost or goblin is safe on Halloween night. Before heading out the door, read our simple safety tips to make sure your holiday is a treat.
1. Research your route –
Just as picking out their Halloween costume is a joy for any child, build excitement by involving them in planning a trick-or-treating route. A few nights before, drive around the neighborhood and have your little ones pick out their favorite decorated homes they want to visit. By involving your child in the planning process, they too will want to stick to the route.
Once you have settled on a route, familiarize yourself with addresses of local sex offenders. Use the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Neighborhood Search and compare it to your trick-or-treating route. Use Family Watchdog to do a National search.
2. Make a P.L.A.N. –
Whether it’s your child’s first time trick or treating solo or a night out with friends, developing a P.L.A.N. will ensure your family’s Halloween is a real treat…
P Always make sure your child asks for Permission before leaving the house for trick-or-treating or a Halloween party.
L Get the address of the Location your child plans to visit. What is the trick-or-treating route? Will they be stopping at a friend’s first?
A Activity – What specific activity will they be doing on Halloween night? Does your child plan to trick or treat or stay in and watch a scary movie? Are friends joining? What time will you be home and how will you get back?
N Ask for the Names and Numbers of the adults in charge, or the friends they will be with. Always save the numbers in your phone for future use.
Make sure your child knows that if any part of their PLAN changes, they must start back at P – permission – and clear the shift with you.
3. Safety in numbers –
Masks and costumes are fun, but they can also create confusion especially for younger children. Before heading out the door, remind your child what you will be wearing so they know who their trusted adult is. Dressing up in family costumes like the The Incredibles or Toy Story characters not only looks amazing, it’s a great way to help your child identify their group.
4. Talk about boundaries –
Teach your child about body boundaries and what to do if someone crosses them. Even in costume, maintaining body boundaries is important. If someone your child knows or someone they do not touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or “icky,” teach them to use their “I Mean Business Voice” to say: “STOP! That’s NOT safe!” Or “STOP! I don’t like that!” This same loud voice should be used if someone is trying to take your child away from the group, or change the PLAN without permission. If the person does not listen, your child should go find a trusted adult to get help immediately.
Practice with your child saying “STOP! That’s not safe!” using their loud, serious, “I Mean Business Voice” to help them get comfortable with this response.
Halloween is a night of excitement, sweet treats, and scares. By following the safety measures above and remaining watchful, you can rest assured your little ghost or goblin has a ghoulishly good time.