Everyone loves to get all freaked out about Halloween safety. Oooooh, Halloween. It's such a scary scary and dangerous holiday. Your kids' teeth might fall out overnight after one night of candy indulgence. Your neighbors -- whose addresses you know -- will suddenly try to murder you in front of the hundred other people on the street. And your kids will probably think it's okay to start knocking on strangers' doors every day thereafter -- so LOOK OUT. Oh, come on!
I pretty much treat Halloween like any other day in motherhood and arm myself against all the regular old dangers. Just like any other day of the week, we watch for cars, I hope they don't get lost, we look both ways before we cross the street, and we say "no, thank you" when a guy dressed as Michael Myers invites us inside his house.
Before heading out with my kids on Halloween night, I simply throw on my cape of common sense and pack up my weapons of mom wisdom and my sack of smarts (not to be confused with sack of Smarties). After all, Halloween is just like any other scary day out with the kids, well, except for these few small differences ...
- It's Night: Yeah, usually we don't go out walking around at night, so I try to prepare my kids and myself for the things that go bump in the night. No, not like werewolves and vampires (Jacob can bump in my night anytime!), but you know, the fact that people can't see you as well and sometimes it gets hard to see your own kid amid all the other kids in Star Wars costumes from Target. A flashlight is good to have, maybe some of those glow sticks the kids love, and real good moms apply reflective tape across the backs and chests of their kids if they're dressed in black ninja costumes. And before we head out, I usually do the "Look into my eyes. I am very serious" safety talk and then still plan on using my quick-fast mom moves and very-scary "Stop in your tracks!" holler.
- It Might Be Chilly: It's October, practically November, after all and while usually we'd just stay indoors, it's Halloween yo. Time to have some fun and get mommy some candy! I make sure my kids wear long underwear or long-sleeve T-shirts under their costumes. They like to whine about it cause "Darth Vader doesn't wear long undeweeeeeeear," but they forget by the time that first Tootsie Roll hits the bottom of their bag.
- The Kids Are Hopped Up on Killer Candy: While it's not the norm for me to let them pile a Three Musketeers atop a Snickers atop a Twix atop their tongue and all at once, I sort of let things slide on Halloween. For this reason, I also activate my Zen Vigilante Mama super powers before we head out so when they go berserk and can't hear me talking anymore, I can calmly yet firmly remove them from the neighbor's fence upon which they've manically climbed in a sugar frenzy, shouting, "Candy is my god now!!!!" while Zotz foam from the corners of the mouths.
Oh yeah, and a few other things, in case your Halloween smarts are on the fritz:
- Don't dress them in costumes that they trip on. They'll fall.
- Don't send them out with real swords. They'll stab someone or you.
- Don't let them go barefoot. It hurts and it's cold.
- Don't let them play with that pretty tiny flame inside of jack o' lanterns. Kids are flammable.
- Don't wait until you're outside on the dark street to make sure they can see out of their mask eye holes. They can't.
- Do take your cell phone. Who ya gonna call?
- Don't let them eat the apple that's sliced in half, has a razor blade inside, and has been glued back together and tied up with string. It might have been tampered with.
- Don't worry that Halloween is the gateway drug to childhood obesity. It's not.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Are you concerned about safety on Halloween more so than any other outing?
Image via johntrainor/Flickr