Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. Here are some Halloween tips to make sure you and your family have a safe and fun holiday.

Costumes           

Some parents are creative and crafty and can make costumes for their kids. If you can do this, be sure to get kids involved wherever possible, and make it a fun family activity!

For parents who prefer not to make their children’s costumes, the main issue is finding something appropriate. Here are some tips:

  • Consider picking a few costumes that you feel are appropriate and let your child have the final say among those.
  • Remind your child early on that layers might be needed for a specific costume for warmth (for example, wearing a shirt or pants underneath a costume) so you avoid disappointment on the night of Halloween.

Make sure to choose something that is age-appropriate. This is true for little kids as well as elementary and middle school-aged kids.

Trick or treating

Kids love to feel independent on Halloween, but it is important to balance safety with this desire. On the other hand, some kids are a little anxious about walking up to strangers’ doors. 

  • Bring along friends. There is safety in numbers, but make sure you have enough adults to cover the chaperoning. Sometimes kids can take more risks when their friends are around than when alone. Having friends can also make approaching doors less scary for more anxious children.
  • Walk a little ways behind but still keep your children in sight. That way they feel like they are on their own, but you are keeping an eye on them.
  • Go out in the earlier hours of the evening.

Make sure kids know that a parent has to check candy before any of it is eaten. 

Candy

While trick or treating is fun and exciting, many parents don’t want their kids to eat all the candy they get.

  • Consider allowing your child to keep a predetermined amount of candy. The child can then trade the rest of their candy in for a different prize. This can be a tangible thing like a toy or a privilege like picking the next movie the family watches or going to do a fun activity.
  • For those parents of children with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, consider allowing your child to trade the candy they get for safe options you have at home at the end of the night.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eleanor Mackey, PhD, is a child psychologist and works primarily with the Obesity Institute and Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Mackey is also a mother of two girls.

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