Halloween focused issues that may arise for divorced or separated parents include:
- Who gets to take the children trick or treating;
- Who pays for the children's costume;
- Whether the costume is allowed to go to the other parents house; and,
- Whether typical rules regarding sweets are suspended for Halloween treat eating.
Read Hess Family Law blog article Surviving the Holidays Part 1: Halloween from October, 2012 for answers to or strategies for dealing with the above issues and other questions that may arise.
In order to keep your kids safe this Halloween, the American Academy of Pediatrics has put together a list of safety tips which we at Hess Family Law have summarized below.
Costumes should fit well, including shoes, and they should be short enough to prevent tripping while walking, or running from house to house. Makeup and hats are safer than masks because they do not obstruct eyesight, so long as the hat is not too big. Consider reflective tape on costumes and treat bags so children are visible to drivers. Check costumes and accessories to make sure they do not have sharp pieces and are flame resistant.
A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home. Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat. Parents should always check treats and toss any unwrapped or suspicious looking candy.
Carry Cell Phones and Flashlights:
Make sure flashlights have fresh batteries and your trick-or-treaters or their escorts carry them. At least one member of your group should carry a cell phone. Teach your children to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
Never let small children carve a pumpkin. Instead, let them draw on the pumpkin with markers, or use pumpkin accessories that can be found in many local shops. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy surface away from flammable objects and should not be left unattended. Also, if using candles, votives are safest.
Preparing your Home:
Remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations. Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!