Going door to door, in a costume, at night, asking for candy from strangers?
It makes you wonder who thought of this wild idea!
(I just had to google this today! Halloween History.)
As a body safety educator, I am not a huge fan of Trick or Treating and spooky, scary costumes.
I worry about running kids running in the streets. I recommend ready, kid-friendly, not scary Halloween books to set a scare-free tone.
I worry about teenagers picking on smaller kids. I worry about costumes that freak kids right out. Halloween brings me back to trick-or-treating with my kids. In 2006, my three kids and I were minding our business... and some lunatic teenager dressed like an axe murderer ran after us with a chainsaw on Halloween. He was "just joking" and apologized profusely. He thought the kids would laugh.
It was not funny! Not funny at all.
When I saw this video of daycare workers scaring children with a mask on purpose, I realized that some people do not understand how terrifying Halloween masks can be to children. In my opinion, the video below is evidence of intentional emotional abuse and terror.
WARNING: Do not watch this video near children.
(90% of child sexual abuse occurs within the circle of people we already know and trust, like; family, extended family, friends, religious leaders, teachers, babysitters, and childcare providers.)
Always plan a simple body safety review before every holiday.
But Halloween requires a general safety review and awareness of age-appropriate fun with no fear.
Don't get Spooked!
8 Super Safety Tips for a Scare-Free Halloween:
Prepare for the Scare: little kids may be very scared of scary costumes that they might see. Many children under the age of 5 have trouble understanding that a person in a costume... is in a costume. They focus on what they see and can not understand that there is a real person they know- under the costume. A 3-year-old may think a skeleton or ghost has literally taken over their teacher, brother, or mom. Imagine the terror- Protect your kids from this trauma!
2. Go out early to avoid spooky, scary, creepy costumes.
Insist upon kid-friendly, not spooky Halloween parties at school. Discuss masks and costumes ahead of time. A trip to Halloween Express can even scare a small child.
Use caution!!! Remind the older siblings to proceed with caution and not try to intentionally their younger siblings. (because that never happens! lol)
3. Don't force it! Some kids Just don't like sitting on Santa's lap! And that is ok. Some children are very fearful of people in costumes and approaching strangers. Respect that fear and wave off the trick or treating if it creates any fear or anxiety in your child. Give your child body autonomy!
4. Family-Friendly Halloween Alternatives: Try a pumpkin festival or a fall celebration."Some towns try to make Halloween more kid-friendly!"
Try a pumpkin parade or scarecrow party.
5. Make sure your child is with an adult and a buddy. Having a Halloween buddy is fun and provides an extra layer of safety. Young children should always be with a parent or other trusted adult. Practice holding hands, looking both ways before crossing the street, and checking in. Kids should not approach a door without an adult.
6. Safety Stats: Ensure children know your cell and address if you get separated. Halloween is the perfect time to review the family safety plan and check in with your safe adult list. Never hesitate to use a big black sharpie to write your cell number on that plastic pumpkin or on their hand!
7. Technology Tools: Many children have phones! Use them for good. Turn the phone to “LOCATION ON” which allows parents to track their path. This provides a great layer of comfort for parents. Just Incase! Try FIND FRIENDS on your phone and your child's phone. Turn that tracker on!
8. Don't make assumptions about safety: If you send your child out with another adult, do not assume they will watch and supervise your child the same way you do. Have that conversation ahead of time. Be clear in your expectations. Talk about it before you send your child with a friend.
I hope this gives you a few extra body safety ideas for Halloween.
May you have many more treats than tricks this Halloween.
Make sure to tune in the
ABC THE MOTHER SIDE ON:
OCTOBER 31ST AT 10:30
to hear my other Halloween Safety Tips!
Be safe and well,
For more body safety ideas for holidays or just any day... please follow me at www.instagram.com/toughtopicsmom