Halloween Safety Tips From A Special Needs Mama


“Don’t take candy from strangers” is what we’ve been teaching our children since they discovered the sweet existence of Gummy Bears, Skittles, and Snickers. All of that goes out of the window for Halloween. Well… not all the way out of the window, but it’s definitely sitting on the ledge.

Halloween can be a bit overwhelming. Having a child with Special Needs creates additional concerns as well as heightens typical concerns regarding Halloween festivities. So, here are a few tips I use to keep my children as safe (and myself as sane) as I can on Halloween.

Tips for creating a safe Halloween

Tip #1: Identifying Markers
There will be a bunch of Spidermen, Witches, and about 1 million Elsas running around. I usually try to convince my children to have the most unique costume I can find. If that doesn’t work, I add something to their costume that allows me to pick them out easily in a crowd. Also, putting some kind of identification on your child that has their name and your phone number is a great idea just in case of an emergency.

Tip #2: Beware of things that go bump in the night… Like Cars. Make sure that drivers are able to see your children. Brightly colored costumes are a great idea and reflectors are some awesome inventions. I may suggest that my kiddo dresses up as a crossing guard this year, but if that doesn’t work out reflective tape and glow sticks do the trick. It’s a great idea to practice safety skills like crossing the street safely.

Tip #3: Stick to the familiar.
Halloween is not the best time to venture out into new territory. Go to areas with which you are already familiar. A lot of churches and schools have trunk-or-treat and fall festivals so check. The mall is another cool place to trick-or-treat.

Tip #4: Plan.
Have your route mapped out with the houses you plan to visit and have a designated meeting place if your get separated from each other. Make sure your children understand which houses to go to and which houses to bypass. Have clear rules such as leaving treats in their bags until they have been checked, not crossing the street alone, and not eating baked goods being offered at a door. Don’t be afraid to plan with your neighbors and share any treats that your kiddo may not be able to eat. If your child has specific dietary concerns, you may want to supply some of the houses you’re planning to visit with special treats for your child.

Tip #5: Practice makes perfect.
When you have a plan it’s a great idea to practice. Try on costumes making sure that there are no loose fabrics that may cause hazards and that the costume fits your child comfortably. Test any makeup or face paint you’re planning to use. Practice what to say and what to do. Social stories can be super useful.

Tip #6: Enjoy Yourself.
As always having a watchful eye is important but enjoy the cuteness and excitement of the evening. And remember that if your child doesn’t want to participate in the events that it’s perfectly fine. Great alternatives are trick or treating in your own home.


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