Halloween Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs
It’s that spooky time of year again, but as kids head out for trick or treating, it doesn’t have to be scary for the parents of special needs children. With a little planning, your little ghoul can get out there and have some Halloween fun with the rest of the ghosts and goblins.
How Should I Prepare my Special Needs Child for Halloween?
Dress rehearsal - Have a dress rehearsal complete with costumes and a run through of your route. Most special needs children will feel more confident Halloween night if they know what to expect.
Review the spookiness factor – Younger children or those who have not been out much on Halloween may need to know what kinds of spooky costumes and decorations they may see or eerie sounds they may hear so they don’t get scared the night of the event.
Review expected behaviors with your child - Practice good ways of asking for treats, perhaps pick a short joke or simply teach them to say trick or treat. It might also be helpful to remind them to be polite when offered candy from a bowl taking one piece unless offered more and saying thank you. You can decide on whatever rules make sense to you.
Safe treats - Remind children to wait until an adult can check their goodies before they eat anything. Many children are allergic or sensitive to some ingredients and all parents want to make sure no packaging has been tampered with.
The buddy system – Small children should always be accompanied by an adult but if your child is getting older you may consider pairing them up with a responsible older sibling or someone else that you trust.
Costume Safety for Children with Special Needs
Costume comfort - Make sure costumes fit well, feel comfortable and are easy to handle. Some special needs children are sensitive to certain types of fabric and certain noises, so even though you may know what makes them comfortable it’s probably a good idea to let them help you pick it out and encourage them to get used to it ahead of time. Also, keep in mind how difficult a costume might be for them to put on and take off. The less stress before heading out the better!
Face paint and makeup - Masks can cause visibility problems for your child so you may want to try a little makeup or face paint. Be sure to test out anything being applied to the skin a few days ahead of time to check for sensitivity.
Costume safety - Plan costumes that are brightly colored and/or reflective so your child will be visible to drivers. Also, check that any fabric used is flame resistant.
With so many things to consider and so much to do, when the time comes to remember to relax and have fun on Halloween night. Planning on doing less is probably a good idea. It doesn’t take an extraordinary plan to make great holiday memories for you and your loved ones.
Does your little one need some extra protection while trick or treating? Make sure to look at our selection of incontinence supplies for children with special needs. Youth diapers are extra absorbent, discreet and available in small sizes.