On Halloween night, kids of all ages will be out wandering from house to house in their spooky attire. There are several actions you can take as a child care provider to ensure your child care kids and your own kids have a safe and happy holiday.
Altering costumes just a bit makes a huge impact on a kid’s safety during Halloween night. Make sure the costume is the correct size and fits securely. Avoid costumes with draping fabric around the legs and feet – this can cause them to trip. Loose material can also get caught in car doors, get stepped on, and even catch fire (jack-o-lanterns, candles).
Secure reflective tape onto the costume so your child can be easily seen at night. For added safety (and fun) let your kids wear glow sticks around their necks and wrists. Although masks are a fun addition to a costume, sometimes they’re not very safe. “Hypoallergenic, non-toxic face paint is a better choice than a mask, which may obscure your child’s vision and hinder his breathing. If you do opt for a mask, cut over-sized holes for his eyes and mouth, and encourage him to take the mask off each time he crosses the street,” suggests Scholastic.com.
Do a test run with the costumes before Halloween night. Hold a Halloween Costume Runway Show for your child care kids and encourage them to come wearing their Halloween costumes. This will give you and their parents a chance to watch how they move around in their costume and if it hinders them in any way.
Related: How to Throw the Best Halloween Party for Your Child Care Kids
There is a lot that goes into decorating your child care home for any holiday. Halloween decorations can be fun and creative, as long as they are prepared and placed safely. Avoid any decorations with loose-hanging material such as “spider webs,” draped fabric, or tablecloths. Children love to pull on anything they can get their hands on, so it’s safe to leave those items off your decor list. Be careful with any candles and hot bulbs – make sure to leave them out of reach from the children. Even small, lighted decorations can be very hot to the touch. Make sure the bulbs do not radiate heat, and if you use candles the small tea lights are your safest bet.
If you children play outside, be cautious of your yard decorations. Make sure they can’t step on bulbs, extension cords, wood, plastic, or even small decorations. If you have a large decorations, try placing a small fence around them to prevent your child from climbing on them.
It’s time for trick-or-treating! Children and families will be moving all around the neighborhood in search of treats. Prepare your yard beforehand by removing any toys, water hoses, and any other loose material that could get stepped on. Clear your sidewalks thoroughly from leaves, mud, or any decoration cords. Lighting your sidewalk is also a great courtesy for the little ones and their families traveling up and down the street. If you have lighted jack-o-lanterns on your porch, opt out of burning candles and replace them with artificial candles. Anyone could knock it over and/or get seriously burned.
“Put a sign outside your home that tells visitors that you are a child care provider and have openings: ‘Sally’s Day Care – Preschool Openings’,” Tom Copeland suggests.
Halloween is also a great business opportunity for you as a child care provider. “Put a sign outside your home that tells visitors that you are a child care provider and have openings: ‘Sally’s Day Care – Preschool Openings’,” Tom Copeland suggests. Check out more of Tom Copeland’s Halloween advice in his blog post What is Unique about Halloween in Child Care.
If you are taking your own children out that night, make sure to be extra cautious and teach your children proper Halloween safety rules.
- Don’t walk up to houses without a porch light
- Always walk in groups
- Only use crosswalks
- Always have your flashlight with you
- Never go into anybody’s house
- Don’t eat candy or treats that have been opened
We suggest holding a mock trick-or-treating day at your child care home for your kids. Recruit your family members or neighbors to man stations (stocked with treats) in and around your house. Teach them how to properly approach someone’s house, what to say, and how to avoid dangerous situations.
With just a few alterations to costumes, safe installation of Halloween decor, and extra trick-or-treating precaution, you and your child care families are sure to have a safe and happy holiday!
For more Halloween fun, check out our Halloween Activities for Child Care Providers. We have put together some spooky delights to help child care providers plan their Halloween festivities! You will find printable Halloween party invitations, a printable children’s Halloween activity book, Halloween recipes, and Halloween crafts. Enjoy!