For teenagers, Halloween is more about the tricks than treats. But as parents, it's important to remind them of the potential dangers they might run into while celebrating All Hallows' Eve.
By this age, they know not to take candy from strangers (assuming they're still planning to trick or treat). But here are some other things our older children should keep in mind on Halloween.
All the same costume safety rules apply with teens. Make sure their costumes don't block their vision. Reflective tape should go on the back or Halloween candy bag and accessories should be flexible and soft. But what about older kids who aren't planning to go trick or treating?
Do talk about the dangers of drinking, smoking and using drugs. But don't lecture. Let them know these behaviors will not be tolerated. At the same time, let them know if they find themselves or a friend too impaired to drive, you're just a phone call away. A "no questions asked" policy that night typically helps ease a child's worries about getting into trouble. Also, they should never leave a drink unattended.
Don't text and drive. It's illegal and dangerous anytime, but on Halloween night more children on are the road. In fact, more kids are hit and killed by cars on Halloween than any other night of the year. Also remind young drivers of the other potentially fatal factors behind the wheel; driving while impaired, speeding and not buckling up.
Do talk about the repercussions associated with pranks. Sometimes tricks can go terribly wrong. Not only could a prankster get arrested, but in some cases, they or the homeowner could get hurt. These actions can have life-changing consequences.
Don't use decorative contact lenses. These accessories have been proven to cause vision problems because they not prescribed to the intended user.
Do give a curfew. Some parents may also feel better by adding check-in times. Establish those rules before your teen heads out. Also, consider apps for smartphones that allow you to keep up with your kids. Life 360, Friend Finder or just the map feature on Snapchat can put a mind at ease.
The bottom line, whether on Halloween, or any other night of the year is to communicate with your teenager. Being upfront with your concerns and building on that relationship will go a long way.