Trick or Treat Tips for Dads

Happy Halloween! Do you have your kids prepared for the big night? Have you talked to them about safety? If you are taking your kids out for Halloween, here are a few tips to prepare for the big night.

First and most importantly, plan ahead. Dads should make sure they know the route their children are planning to take. Plan ahead. First, dads should make sure they know the expected route their children are planning to take for trick or treating. Make sure they have an expected time for return and that the kids have a watch.

Go along for the fun. The best approach is to make sure a responsible adult, preferably a parent, accompanies all trick or treaters. A little adult supervision can go a long way.

Stay on the beaten path. Remind your trick or treaters that they should stay in populated areas and away from open fields, back alleys and the like. Choosing well lit streets is a good rule.

Go only to known houses. This is a little tough to enforce, but is a wise choice. Just go to the homes of people you know and can trust. While treat tampering is rare, you have to exercise a little caution. And there is a built in benefit–treats are usually a little better if the person behind the door knows the kids who are knocking!

Take a few safety precautions. Make sure your children have a flashlight or chemical “glow stick” with them. Putting a little reflective tape on the back of costumes is a good idea as well.

Watch for cars. This seems like common sense advice, but trick or treaters sometimes assume drivers can see them. Exercise extra caution. And remember, just because one car stops for them doesn’t mean that all cars will.

Help them avoid crime. Sometimes children can unwittingly participate in criminal activities in the name of fun at Halloween. Toilet papering parties, egging houses, terrorizing younger trick or treaters, engaging in harmful practical jokes, shoplifting and the like are criminal offenses. Sometimes masks and costumes can make children feel invulnerable! Halloween is not an excuse for vandalism or crime. Warn them sternly. If they become involved in something like this, make them clean up or make restitution.

As your children get a little older, trick or treating loses its allure and they will start looking for parties, haunted houses and the like. If your children are headed out for a party away from home, follow a few common sense rules:

Set a curfew. Make sure the kids know what time they need to be home and that they have a watch.

Know where they are going. Get a name, address and phone number of their destination. It’s also a good idea to make sure there will be adults supervising the party.

Make sure your kids have a way to contact you and to get home if needed. Sometimes parties can turn ugly in a variety of ways and they may want to get out and fast.

Consider hosting your own party. One way to stay in control of Halloween activities is to be the party host.

With trick or treaters, teen party goers and the possibility of a little adventure in the neighborhood, it pays to take a few precautions.

Open flames are a real hazard. If you use candles in your jack o’lanterns, make sure that they are not where costumes can connect with them. Put them on a shelf, on a garden wall or somewhere where they are not a potential fire hazard. We put ours on a little Workmate portable workbench in the front yard each year away from the sidewalk. In the dark, they look like they are floating in the air and yet are securely on the various levels of the shelves.

Keep pets safe. If any group has the potential for a bad Halloween experiences, pets would probably be close to the top of the list. Put your dogs and cats inside on Halloween night to minimize their stress and keep them safe from pranksters who might put them at risk.

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