10 Halloween Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs
These special Halloween safety tips will help ensure a safe and fun experience for children with special needs
Halloween can be a fun time, but it also has an element of scariness about it for both kids and their parents. Here are ten tips to make sure your child enjoys this holiday and stays safe at the same
Halloween Safety Tip 1: Select a costume that makes your child easily visible in the dark to improve Halloween safety.
Most Halloween costumes are dark colored and make it hard to spot kids while trick or treating. Some ways to help children with special needs to be seen is to have them bring a flashlight, a glow stick, or to place reflective tape on their costume or wheelchair.
Halloween Safety Tip 2: Double check that your children can see ok with their mask or costume on.
If your child with special needs has a Halloween costume with a mask or hood, it may make it difficult for them to see properly. If needed, modify the costume so the child doesn’t have obstructed vision. That way as they are walking from house to house they won’t fall on steps (and other things that go bump in the night).
Halloween Safety Tip 3: Helping your children to become familiar with the trick or treat route will enhance Halloween safety.
Doing a test run in the day time is a smart way to help your child get to know the route a bit better. It will help ensure they don’t get lost. You can also encourage kids to stick to the sidewalks to stay safe.
Halloween Safety Tip 4: Looking to make sure costumes don’t trip your child will boost Halloween safety for kids.
With oversized costumes and capes it may make it difficult for your child to walk. Shorten long costumes if necessary. Also check that the kids have warm, safe, shoes that are comfortable. With all the walking they will do it’s important to make sure they don’t trip or slip due to ill-fitting costumes or shoes.
Halloween Safety Tip 5: Use the buddy system for children with special needs.
If you have a younger child, it’s better to have an adult accompany them. If your child with special needs is old enough to trick or treat independently, you may want to group him with another responsible older sibling or friend. Tell the kids when they need to be home. If your child has a cell phone, have him carry it with him in case he needs to reach you or vice versa.
Halloween Safety Tip 6: Make sure that costumes for children with special needs are comfortable.
Whether it’s the feel of the fabric, the snugness of the costume, or a noise it makes, sometimes children with special needs are extra sensitive when it comes to sensory stimulation. Bring children along with when shopping. It may save you having to return the costume to the store later. Or, there may be easy ways to “adjust” the costume so your child feels happy and comfortable in it.
Halloween Safety Tip 7: Teach Halloween safety and manners for children with special needs.
Trick or Treat time is a wonderful opportunity to teach Halloween etiquette. Teach kids to be polite as they ring the doorbell and say “Trick or Treat”. Then advise them it’s proper to take only one piece of candy unless told otherwise. And always tell the person “thank you” before leaving. Also tell the kids not to eat the candy until they get home and parents can check it. Finally tell kids not to go into someone’s home who is a stranger if invited.
Halloween Safety Tip 8: Dress properly for the weather for ultimate safety and fun!
The full moon and the cool of autumn can make for a frightfully cool Halloween evening. Dress the kids in layers so they can stay warm. Gloves to match the costume can keep little hands cozy and warm.
Halloween Safety Tip 9: Select flame retardant costumes to maximize safety.
With candles glowing, pumpkins lit up and bonfires, there’s a fire danger for children. Make sure your child with special needs has a Halloween costume that is flame retardant.
Halloween Safety Tip 10: Prepare kids so they won’t be afraid.
Goblins, skeletons, and witches – oh my! There are lots of spooky sounds and decorations that may upset your child. Prepare your child for this experience by talking about it in advance. Let them know what they can expect and tell them it’s all part of Halloween fun.