Eventually, tweens and teens reach the stage where they would rather canvass the neighborhood without any grownups tagging along. As they head out and about on Halloween to have fun with their friends, take time to talk with them about how to stay safe. Here’s what your son or daughter should know before heading out.
- Choose a route: Make sure they know the major streets so they can find their way home. Explain to visit houses with lights on, and to never enter the house of someone they don’t know for any reason.
- Talk about smartphone safety: If your teen has a smartphone, Halloween is the perfect time to have the extra talk about using these devices safely. Typing and scrolling while walking is a big no-no… especially on the roads after dark.
- Drive safe: If they’re borrowing the car, remind your kids that Halloween is a time when it’s especially important to be vigilant while driving at night. That means absolutely no texting and driving. Make sure they budget extra time to get where they’re going, just in case the hordes of trick-or-treaters cause a traffic jam in the neighborhood.
- Avoid the tricks: This one is trickier, because it’s not like your teenager is going to let you know if they’re up to some Halloween mischief – midnight pranks, vandalism or trespassing in a cemetery or abandoned house. Have a talk about the consequences and dangers, and consider a curfew.
- Host a gathering: If you don’t want to wonder about them, consider giving your teens and their friends a safe place to socialize and hang out at your place. You can go all out with decorations, food and costumes… or it can be something more laid-back, like a backyard bonfire with marshmallows and warm drinks.
Before you get the fire going remember to keep the flames a safe distance from your house or other structures. Always keep a bucket of water or hose at the ready, just in case.
Staying on the safe side can help you make sure everyone enjoys this ghoulish time of year. Happy Halloween!