A chill in the air and the crunching of leaves underfoot mean that Halloween will soon be here. Along with trying on costumes and decorating the house, parents need to prepare their children for a fun and safe night of trick-or-treating. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for kids. To keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this year, use these tips.

Choose costumes with bright colors

Steer children away from shadowy costumes that may be difficult for drivers and other individuals to see in the dark. Instead, encourage children to select costumes with bright colors, particularly greens, yellows, and oranges. If your child insists on going out as a black-cloaked figure, see if you can attach reflective tape to their cape and trick-or-treat bag. In addition, glowsticks and flashlights add further visibility and can be worn around the neck or via a wrist strap, respectively. Light-shedding items can also reduce the risk of your child tripping over uneven sidewalks or front-yard props.

Select costume props carefully

Costume props are a fun way to finish off the look of a costume, but they may also pose safety hazards. Swords, knives, and wands should be soft and flexible; if your children start a mock fight, whacking one another with these weapons should not pose any risks. If your child requests a cane or broomstick to accompany their costume, make sure that these items are not too long. Oversized props, as well as long cloaks, gowns, and pants, can pose a tripping hazard.

Use makeup instead of masks

Even the best masks limit a child’s eyesight and visual perspective. This may result in them falling or getting hurt. Instead of buying a mask to complete a child’s costume, use non-toxic makeup, hats, and wigs instead. Always test out makeup on a small area of a child’s skin to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation. When selecting a wig or hat to accompany the look, make sure the items are non-flammable and well-fitted to the child’s head. Avoid using decorative or non-prescription items such as contact lenses, as these can lead to irritation or other concerns. 

Travel in a group

On Halloween night, make a tentative plan with the children and map an area out. If your kids are going without parental supervision, know who will be in their party, where they will be going, and when they’re coming back home. Make sure your children understand that they should only knock on the doors of houses that are well-lit, and they should never enter a home without a trusted adult present. Whether or not you accompany your children, encourage them to use crosswalks and stay together. This way, everyone is accounted for and sure to have a fun time!