Safe Tips for Trick or Treating That Every Parent Should Know
By Lisiane Jimenez, M.A., School-Based Mental Health Therapist
As a school-based mental health therapist and the mother of two teenagers, I have put a lot of thought into Halloween and trick or treating safety over the years. All of us have heard horror stories of how children have eaten toxic candy or treats laden with a strategically placed razor blade – truly horrifying tales for any parent! However, after doing a bit of research my understanding is that these malicious acts don’t happen often.
Nevertheless, it is always important to have some safety measures in place. I have compiled a brief list of the steps I take every year to ensure that my children are safe. Now that they are old enough, I make sure we discuss these rules prior to going out so they can also be an active participant in our safety process.
1). Establish rules, expectations and emergency procedures with the children prior to going trick-or-treating
2). Always make sure there is at least one or more adults walking with the children.
3). Have the children remain together in a group as they go to different homes.
4). Make sure all trick-or-treating areas are well-lit.
5). Ensure that your child has some form of ID and emergency cell phone numbers in case they get lost.
6). Make sure your child can be easily seen and is able to see the safe adult in the dark.
7). Ensure that you child’s treats are safe to eat by closely inspecting each item when returning home.
For most children Halloween is something they look forward to all year long so always make sure to have lots of fun! Happy Halloween!
Lisiane Jimenez provides school-based mental health services to children and families at Brentwood Elementary. The program, a partnership between the Florida Center for Early Childhood, the Sarasota County School District and Community Foundation of Sarasota County, is meant to keep high-risk children in school and help them meet their academic milestones through multi-generational therapy for the students and their families.