From the candy to the costumes, trick-or-treating is a highlight of the season for kids. Halloween is the one night of the year when kids venture out and enjoy themselves by the thousands. Parents may take the opportunity to give their kids a little more freedom than they normally would. Unfortunately, whether or not parents join their kids on the candy trail, it can be a dangerous night, if they aren’t careful. Krav Maga Worldwide, one of the nation’s leading self-defense organizations, has a few important safety tips for parents to keep in mind before heading out the door this Halloween:
Talk to kids about being aware of their surroundings. This is the most important lesson to teach kids. Explain to them that they need to be fully aware of what is happening around them and take notice of anything suspicious. If they do notice something is odd, they need to inform a parent or trusted adult that is with their group.
Practice the buddy system and stay in groups. Be sure to tell your child how important it is to stay with the group and not to venture off alone. With a large number of people out and about, it is easy for a child to get lost in the crowd.
Do not associate with strangers or enter a stranger’s home. Teach your child to only accept treats from the doorway and to let you know if something occurs that makes them uncomfortable while they are going door-to-door.
Plan a route ahead of time and choose a meeting time and spot. This comes in handy if a child is separated from the group. Also, in the event your child is separated, before going out, put your name and number on your child’s hand and seal it with a liquid bandage, so it stays put.
Be mindful of costumes. Equip your child with comfortable shoes and a flame-retardant costume. For added safety, forgo masks and use face paint so their vision and breathing won’t be impaired. It is also a good idea to provide your child with a reflector strip, glow sticks, or flashlights.
When in doubt, throw it out. Once you are home and sorting through your child’s candy, get rid of anything that is open, has been repackaged, or is homemade. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Also, pay attention to candy that can cause choking hazards, like gum and hard candies.
For more information, check out www.kravmaga.com, the Facebook page (Krav Maga Worldwide), Instagram @krav_maga_worldwide, or call (800) 572–8624.