For parents, the most frightening part of Halloween isn’t necessarily the scary movies, costumes, or front-yard displays – it’s the safety of their kids while they are out trick-or-treating. Plus, as children under 12 remain vaccinated and the Delta variant continues to spread, families need to take extra steps to protect their children this year. 

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your children will be able to safely have fun. 

1. Safety begins with the costumes. Bright colors and reflective tape aren’t just ways to add some pizzazz to your child’s costume, they also are a prudent safety measure. Also, make sure the costume has room for warm clothing underneath. 

2. Have adult chaperones. Children under 12 should be accompanied by a parent or another adult. Older children who go out without a parent should follow a planned route, have a cell phone, only go to houses with porch lights on, and be home by an agreed-upon time. Older children should be part of group and at least one person in that group should have a flashlight with new batteries. 

3. Stay outdoors. Making sure your children stay outside is one of the best ways of guarding against the coronavirus. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends staying away from large groups and following social distancing. 

4. Inspect the treats. Make sure your kid doesn’t eat the candy and other treats while out by giving him or her a small meal beforehand. Once your child returns, inspect his loot, looking out for any items that are not sealed, or have torn packaging. For younger children, discard potential choking hazards like gum, peanuts, and hard candies. 

For people who plan on hosting trick-or-treaters, follow these basic safety rules: 

1. Clear the entrance. Clear the path to your door of anything a child could trip over, like garden hoses or toys. If leaves or snow have fallen on your front steps, sweep them away. 

2. Keep the lights on. This keeps everyone safe as they approach your house. Now is also a good time to check the light bulbs in any outdoor light fixtures. 

3. Restrain your dog or other pet. Make sure jittery pets that could bite a kid or bolt out of the door are kept somewhere else in the house during trick-or-treating. 

Follow these tips to ensure a Halloween that is fun and scary in a good way. 

Sources included: HealthyChildren.org, KidsHealth.org, and the Mayo Clinic.