Ana is a single mama to an 8-yr-old son, Javier, who loves to wear costumes 365 days per year. When not exploring her beloved Sunshine State with her family, she's planning date nights with her single dad beau, Mark. The former content director for parenting.com, Ana is now the VP of Content for Today's Mama. She has interviewed a wide range of mamas, from First Lady Michelle Obama to the Kardashians and everything in between.

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Mama’s Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is by far my family’s favorite holiday. You know how some brides wear multiple dresses throughout their wedding? Well, if we could, our family would have costume changes throughout Halloween night…wait, maybe we will have costume changes throughout the night, now that I think of it! We certainly have multiple options thanks to my son’s year-round love of wearing costumes (even to the supermarket). Brilliant!

Halloween Illo Halloween safety tips

Javier is 8, so I’ve got a solid amount of experience from which to draw from when I tell you that there are a few Halloween safety tips you definitely want to keep in mind when trick or treating, and not all of them are super obvious.

1. If your little one does not know your phone number by heart, write it on the inside of their arm, where it is less likely to rub off. Make sure they know to look for an adult if they get lost, and show them those digits.

2. Run out and buy yourself a handful of those cool 99-cent glow sticks, and hand one out to everybody. Ideally, you’ll want to buy them all in one color, so that you can easily find your brood. It also works to help illuminate a path or even your trick or treat bag when you’re dying for a Snickers bar (I’m just sayin’). I have seen these glow sticks at Dollar Stores, drugstores and grocery stores over the past few weeks, but you can also find them at Oriental Trading.

EDC-Glowsticks Halloween safety tips

3. One year Jav wore a “Special Forces” costume that was essentially a giant bodysuit with built-in muscles. Let’s just say it wasn’t so easy to work with when he had to tinkle. Consider what you’ll do if your kid has to go potty. Is the costume something he or she can easily take off and put back on? If not, now’s the time cut or pin appropriately.

4. Is your kid’s costume a drag? I mean, doesn’t it literally drag on the floor? When he’s pumped up with sugar and decides to sprint to the next house, you’re going to wish you’d pinned that sucker. Trust me.

5. Buddy up your kids. It’s the old-fashioned rule used on field trips, and there’s no better time for it than Halloween. If you’re trick or treating in a big group, have everyone pick one person they have to stick with, no matter what.

6. Choose one or two hard and fast rules that are most important to you, and that’s it. Kids are forgetful on regular days, let alone when they’re hyped up on high fructose corn syrup and pretending to be zombies. I’ve got two rules in our fam: Never cross a street alone and if you’re so far ahead of me that it’s getting hard for you to see me, stop and wait for me to catch up. Figure out what your absolutes are, and have a little training session before the hoopla begins.

7. Have fun…real fun. Let go of some of your other rules on Halloween night and let them enjoy the heck out of the experience. It’s a once-a-year deal, and if you stop and look around a little, you’ll realize the people-watching has never been better. Some folks go all out, others barely make an effort, and some of the kids you see are just downright adorable. Enjoy!

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