As the spookiest time of the year approaches, it's time to gear up for some frighteningly fun festivities. If you're a foster parent or caregiver, you might be wondering how to ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween for your foster children. Here are some essential Halloween safety tips to consider during this season.
Have a Planned Route
If your foster children are on the younger side, it's a good idea to accompany them as they go door-to-door. Older kids may want to venture out with friends, though, so make sure that there is a preplanned walking route and what time they should be home. Stick to familiar areas and pathways that are well-lit to avoid wandering into potential unsafe situations.
The right costume can make or break the Halloween experience, but ultimately, safety is the top priority. Ensure your kiddo’s costume is comfortable and free of choking hazards. Skip masks or other facial coverings that can obstruct vision or consider using safe face paint or makeup.
A night of Trick-or-Treating can become dangerous if proper street safety isn’t taken. Add reflective tape or stickers to your foster kids' costumes or treat bags to make them more visible to passing vehicles. Flashlights or glow sticks are also excellent additions to keep everyone well-lit on the dark streets. If your foster kiddo has a phone, discourage distracted walking (like texting, looking at other apps, or listening to loud music) and make sure to only cross at marked intersections and crosswalks.
Keeping Sweets Safe
Although it may be tempting for your child to snack on their Halloween candy while out Trick-or-Treating, try and have them wait until they get back home so that you can inspect the candy. If you’re child has any allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to check their candy for anything containing those allergens. Immediately throw away any candy that has been opened already or has an unusual appearance. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
After Trick-or-Treating, gather your foster children for a quick debrief. Ask them about their favorite parts of the night and discuss anything that might have made them feel uncomfortable. All foster children have a history of trauma to some degree, so make sure you are prioritizing their well-being and comfort.
Foster children deserve the same memorable experiences as any other child, and with your love, care, and these safety tips, they can enjoy a spooktacular Halloween! If you are not a foster parent but are looking for an opportunity to begin, learn more on our Foster Care homepage or fill out our quick form.